Helping her students achieve their goals is what motivates Batticaloa teacher Nitharshini Vijeyakumar and with support from ChildFund she can now do exactly this. Nitharshini shares her story.
My name is Nitharshini Vijeyakumar and I am a teacher in the Batticaloa west educational zone, Sri Lanka. I have been able to take part in the very first programme giving career guidance and counselling to students in our area, run by the Vavunathivu Development Organization (VDO) and ChildFund.
The program helped myself and other teachers to identify gaps in our teaching and formulate ways to help the students. It also gave us the opportunity to share our best practices, knowledge and challenges with teachers of other subjects. The training helped us to clarify many of the questions that were dogging us and to get clear, practical answers from other teachers or the facilitator.
I was trained as a career guidance and counselling teacher but due to a shortage of teachers in Batticaloa I had to teach other subjects for 11 years. Difficulties for me with these other subjects forced me to give up my teaching career but in 2017 I was appointed as a career guidance and counselling teacher full time to the Navatkadu Namagal Vidyalayam school. Previously there were very few opportunities and hardly any training for us to improve in our career.
The students and parents are facing many and varied problems. What I have noted is that the children face the brunt of the problems especially with regard to literacy, numeracy and reaching their optimum levels in their educational performance. This forces the children to lag behind in their studies. VDO organized a career vision awareness presentation for some students. The notable point was linking to the human resource development officers and this will support us to track students’ performance and help the students whenever they need support. The human resource development officers have promised to follow up with support to students every quarter, all the way up to their general certificate in education. I feel strongly that a quarterly review meeting will help to iron out any issues that cannot be solved directly in the respective schools. Also developing a platform to support the vulnerable students for a better tomorrow.
I can proudly say that comparing the situation previously to what I have received now, I can steadily move forward in my career. I am very grateful to ChildFund New Zealand supporters for their help and concern.