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Last updated: 09 August, 2010 - Published 14:03 GMT
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Vakarai 'best school' in the east

Vakarai at the end of civil war (file photo)
The school is reconstructed but the children still faint with lack of food, says the principal
The eastern Sri Lanka seems to be gradually getting back to normalcy after the devastating tsunami and the decades of civil war between the government forces and the Tamil Tigers.

Vakarai Maha Vidyalaya, in Batticaloa district is one such example.

The school was completely destroyed by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.

Subha Chakravarthi, Kalkuda Zonal Education Director told BBC Sandeshaya that the reconstruction work has been hampered by the civil war after the tsunami.

But now, it is again a school with all new facilities.

Teacher shortages

Vakarai Education Director N Nagalingam said: "Among the 18 schools in the zone, we now have the biggest building. It was funded by the European Union."

He said both children and parents are happy that they could continue studies in piece.

Vakarai after tsunami (file photo)
Tsunami reconstruction was hampered as a result of civil war

Everything is not rosy, though.

Many among the 748 children suffer from malnutrition, according to principal Selvam Sukumar.

"Many children don't have anything for breakfast. Many of them faint wihhin 4-5 minutes after the morning assembly starts," he told the BBC.

 Many children don't have anything for breakfast. Many of them faint wihhin 4-5 minutes after the morning assembly starts
School principal

S Sevandhi, the class teacher in charge of Grade one said she is happy to show the path to the next generation although she has to travel two hours on the bus.

Authorities and teachers are hopeful that the children will come up with very good exam results in the near future.

The attempts to teach Sinhala language, in addition to Tamil, is hampered by the lack of qualified teachers, they say.

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