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The conflict in Sri Lanka started since the British Colonial time. The literate Tamil minority got advantages at that time and was employed in the administrative center. After their independence from Britain, the major ethnic, Singhalese, passed a citizenship law which discriminated the Tamil ethnicity and made over 700,000 Tamils stateless. In 1956, the official language was changed from English to Singhala to discriminate the Tamils even further, since many Tamils also weren’t fluent in Singhala.
In May 1976, Tamil Tigers (LTTE) was founded in order to create independent state of Tamil Eelam in north and east Sri Lanka and in July 1983, they ambushed the Sri Lanka army patrol and killed 1 officer and 12 soldiers. This triggered a massacre organized by Jayawardena, the current prime minister at that time and killed thousands of Tamils. This “Black July” officially marked the beginning of the civil war and ended in April 2009 after the LTTE loss.
It’s recorded that over 80,000 people were killed during the civil war, but the actual numbers remain unknown.
Over 90% of the Sri Lankans are literate and it is obligated for children aged 5-14 years to visit school.
Unfortunately, there is a drastic difference between the education quality in the rural areas and the big cities. Even school students in the rural areas are often unable to continue to universities since they aren’t provided with sufficient English lessons, whereas the courses are mainly in English. Although the education in Sri Lanka is free of charge, the hidden costs such as transportation, uniforms and school materials make it difficult for families with economic problems.
Besides, in 2005, around 85% university applicants got rejected due to lack of available seats in the university and in the ex-conflict areas, there is no university available. To add the problem, the expensive private schools and universities are of course unaffordable for many families from villages.
Many students are forced to study abroad due to these problems. This lowers the recovery of the country from the civil war. We (Studies Without Borders) see, that by increasing the quality in their country will reduce the migration and therefore enable the country to recover.
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