62

THE SCHOOL IN GEMBELLA
One of the keys to shoring up the foundation of the shattered education infrastructure in Tigray and other war-ravaged regions of Ethiopia is something that, fortunately, is found in abundance: stone. During the long civil war, dozens of schools in Tigray were destroyed by serial bombardments. Desks, chairs, benches, tables, shutters, doors and even roofs were stolen. With wood an extremely scarce commodity in this heavily deforested region, stone has been put to good use in rebuilding schools. At the Gembella primary school, on the outskirts of Mekelle, the regional capital, residents have worked with chunks of golden limestone and other rocks and mud to make benches for their children to sit on in the school's three classrooms. At the front of the classroom, a meter-high mud and rock platform has been built to serve as a stand for the blackboard. In the front left-hand corner of each classroom, there is a mud-androck bench, about twice the height of the children's bench, for the teacher. Piles of stone have been stacked up in most of the empty window frames to keep out the heat, dust and rain. In many areas of Tigray where school buildings were destroyed, local communities have built new ones with stone from the fields. Despite the crude cave-like appearance the mud-and-rock furniture gives the classrooms, Gembella's 250 students do not complain. Thousand of other children in Tigray have no choice but to attend "green schools" that have been set up under trees or bridges or in temporary structures of brush and plastic sheeting. Gebre Egzuaber Tesfahun, head of the Education Programme for Tigray, notes that Gembella school was shut down for 10 years during the war. It was looted in 1981 by soldiers of the former government. "So most of the children had no exposure to formal education until after the war ended in May 1991" he says. "This is true for the majority of the 294,000 primary school students in the region." Lette Berhan Kebede, now 15, was four years old when the school was closed. Now, finishing the first semester of third grade, Lette Berhan says that during the war she spent most of her time "just staying at home away from the soldiers and helping my family". When the school bell - an empty metal casing from spent artillery shell -rings to mark the start of classes. Lette Berhan races the other children to the third grade classroom. Her favourite subjects are English and Tigrina, and she also is studying Amharic, mathematics, science, history and geography. Like the other students, she also works half day a week on improving the school grounds. Stone by stone the students built a wall of more than 300 metres that winds around the windswept compound. They also planted seedlings in the compound and have to take care of them. Lette Berhan's tree looks healthy and has grown nearly to her waist. Hiwet Hiut, the school's math teacher, says Lette Berhan is a good student and that nearly all the children at the school are as enthusiastic as she is about learning. "The problem is that we lack supplies and equipment," says Hiwet Hiut. "We are always running out of even the most basic supplies, like pencils and paper".

63

UNICEF assists basic education in Ethiopia by supporting curriculum development and teacher training. It is extending its assistance directly to schools like Gembella. With emergency funds from various donors, UNICEF is purchasing and distributing basic education kits to dozens of schools in Tigray and other regions. The kits which cost US$ 2,412 each, contain the basic supplies needed for a school of 500 students. Among the items they contain are 4,000 exercise books, 8 large chalk boards, 50 small slates for students, 5,000 sticks of chalk, two T-squares, 600 rulers, 12,000 pencils, 100 pens, a globe, a map of Africa, a foot- ball and a volleyball. With additional funds from donors, urgently needed basic education kits can be supplied to hundreds of other poorly equipped schools around the country. "Tens of thousands of children in Ethiopia have been denied access to education due to war, drought, and displacement", says Revelians Tuluhubgwa, UNICEF representative in Ethiopia. "Now that they can go back t school, their ability to learn is being hindered by a lack of basic educational material
from Shoring up Education in Ethiopia by Mark Thomas, UNICEF Information Officer, Ethiopia, 1994

Some facts about Ethiopia Ethiopia is situated on the east coast of Africa surrounded from north to south by Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya and Somalia. The capital is Addis Ababa. Ruled by kings since the Middle Ages, Ethiopia was conquered by Italy in 1935. Haile Selassie was returned to the throne by the French and English in 1952. In 1972 Mengitsu took power and formed a socialist government with links to the USSR and Cuba. Years of civil war came to and end in 1991. Population: 1999 – 61,095 million. Life expectancy: 1999 - 69 Adult literacy: 1995 – 1999 men 40%, women 27% Points for discussion: 1. Though conditions seem to be improving, what do the above facts show us about Ethiopia during the civil war period? 2. How far does the article about the school in Gembella illustrate the figures given above? 3. In what way are the people of Tigray overcoming the results of the civil war? 4. In what way is UNICEF helping these people? 5. Are most students of 15 in your country enthusiastic about learning? Why are the students of Tigray so enthusiastic? 6. Can you imagine what it is like to be 15 and in the third grade? 7. Is there anything you can do about the problem of education in Ethiopia? 8. Do you think the basic education kits supplied by UNICEF are adequate for 500 school children in Ethiopia? If you had to make up a kit for 500 students what would you include, and how much would it cost?

64

Language Fill in the following spaces with any suitable word, using one word at a time. Try not to look at the text. Lette, now 15, was four years old when the school was closed. Now, finishing the first semester (1)........ third grade, Lette says that (2)........ the war she spent most of her (3)........ just staying away from the soldiers and (4)........ her family. When the school bell rings, to (5)........ the start of classes, Lette races the (6)........ children to the third grade classrroom. Her favourite (7)........ are English and Tigrana, and she is also (8)........ Amharic, mathematics, science, history and geography.(9) ........ the other students. She also works half a day improving the school grounds. Stone by (10)........, the students built a wall of 300 metres that (11)........ around the wind- swept compound. They also (12)........ seedlings in the compound and are charged with taking care (13)........ them. Lette's tree looks healthy and has (14)........ nearly to her waist. The school's math teacher says Lette is a good student, and that nearly all the children are as (15)........ as she is about learning. Vocabulary Find a word in the text similar in meaning to the following words a. destroyed (par A) ............ b. rare (par B) ............ c. piled (par E) ............ d. alternative (par F) ............ e. beginning (par I) ............ f. keen (par K) ............ g. help (par L) ............ h. buying (par M) ............ i. equipment (par M) ............ j. prevented (par N) ............ Writing Write a letter to Lette asking her if there is anything she needs that you can send the school.. Perhaps you could collect English books or dictionaries. Suggest other ways you might be able to help.

65

STREET SCHOOLS IN SENEGAL
1) In Senegal, non-attendance at school, which mostly affects country areas, has spread to the towns, with nearly 40 per cent of school-age children not attending. A system set up by the government to tackle the problem in primary schools in poor areas, consisting of a half day of lessons daily, with some children coming in the morning and others in the afternoon, has proved inadequate. 2) The situation has given rise to the creation of "street schools", mostly in Dakar, with improvised classes in the street or in the yard of a house and plain wooden benches. The many children who attend these schools show how popular they are, especially as the fees are modest. Among the subjects taught are human rights, theatre, Arab language and environmental education. One basic difference from the state schools is that classes are usually in the children's mother tongue rather than French. Another is that the "street schools" meet the general demand for children to be taught not in a selective way but by giving them the basic knowledge to cope with the society they live in. 3) This and other initiatives carried out in conditions of scarcity, poverty and sometimes sufficiency but never abundance, show that even needy people can build community projects with what they have. In this way the link-up between frugality, economy and society leads to a new work ethic and gives an example to the world at a time of increasing breakdown of social ties and environmental degradation.
From UNESCO Courier, January 1998

Questions before reading the text 1. Where is Senegal? If you are not sure, look it up in an atlas. 2. Senegal is a developing country. What is a developing country? 3. What could be the main problems of developing countries in relation to education? 4. What do you know about street schools? Why might they be needed?

……………………………………………………………………………………………. Some information about Senegal: Senegal, capital Dakar, became independent from France in 1958 but French is still the official language. Population 9.240 million (1999). Primary school enrolment 66% (1995-1999) Senegal is in western Africa and has a tropical climate. Two thirds of the active population work in agriculture. Main crops are ground nuts and rice

66

Questions after reading the text 1. What is the official language of Senegal? What other language is used? 2. What percentage of children in Senegal do not attend school? Is this a lot? Why do you think children in Senegal don’t go to school? 3. What attempt at solving the problem didn’t work? 4. How do people in Senegal know that the new system is popular? 5. Complete the following: It seems that Street Schools are better than ordinary classes, because a)……...……………………………………………………………………….. b) ………………………………………………………………………………. c) ………………………………………………………………………………. d) ………………………………………………………………………………. 6. Are the subjects taught in the street schools the same as the subjects you study? Yes, or no? Explain. 7. What can other countries learn from what Senegal has done? Vocabulary A) Find a word in the text, similar to the following words 1. (Par. 1.) 2. (Par. 2.) 3. (Par. 2.) 4. (Par. 3.) 5. (Par. 3.) insufficient particularly fundamental the state of having very little money growing

B. Fill in the missing words. Line 1 is done for you 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Noun difference attendance creation ……… ……… ……… Adjective different attending ……….. educational selective ………… Verb differ ………. ………. ………. ………. suffice

Knowledge Framework task on separate page

67

68

ILIAS THE BLACKSMITH
Ilias comes from a village called Alinaga in Bangladesh. Ilias is the fourth son of the family. There are also two sisters. He studied up to class I in the village. They do not own any land to cultivate. Ilias's father cultivates other people's land and manages his family with the little income he receives. When Ilias was in the village he used to help his father with the agricultural work and also looked after the cattle. He was not interested in studying, besides he was not able to attend school regularly because of all the household chores. Most of the time he was absent from school. One day he got a serious thrashing from his school teacher for not doing his school work. From that day on he never went back to school. His parents tried to convince him to go back but he would not listen to anyone. As a result his father got angry and sent him to Dhaka with his uncle to look for work. Ilias has now been in Dhaka for five years. He works in a blacksmith's shop. His work is to cook food, clean the shop, do various errands and help the blacksmith directly with the shop work. His uncle found him this job. He works from 8.00 am to 9.00pm. He gets up early in the morning at 7.00 am, cleans the shop and goes to the pond for a quick dip. Then he has breakfast and goes to the bazaar to buy food for lunch. As well as shopping he has to cook lunch for 4 to 5 people daily. He is given two hours to cook lunch, and every night after working in the shop he has to cook his own dinner. Then he goes to sleep. Every morning for breakfast he eats "panta ghat" (rice from the night before). He eats this eagerly with onions and chilies with his employer. He gets to eat only one egg per week. Sometimes he eats fish and meat, but most of the time it is only dal (pulse) and vegetables. Ilias's employer bears the cost of the food but he does not pay him any salary. When Ilias goes to the village to visit his family, his employer gives him 200 to 300 taka (about 4 to 6 dollars) for travelling expenses. Sometimes he is able to save a bit of this money so he gives it to his mother at home. Ilias visits his family about two or three times a year, but his father comes to Dhaka every month to see him. Ilias misses his brothers and sisters very much and he feels sorry for them. It is very difficult and painful for him to have to work so hard but still he has to do it to survive. He has burnt parts of his hands and legs while working at the shop. Ilias sleeps inside the shop at night. He owns a pillow. a blanket and a mosquito net. There is no fan in the shop so he suffers very much from the heat. Sometimes when he is ill his employer will fetch the doctor. On Friday afternoons he is free from work. He spends his time with his friends but he never goes to watch a movie at the cinema.

Some facts about Bangladesh: Bangladesh lies to the north east of India on the Bay of Bengal The capital is Dakha, also spelt Dacca Bangladesh became independent from Pakistan in 1972 (Pakistan became independent when India was divided in 1947) In 1999: Population was over 126 million Life expectancy 59 Adult literacy, male 63% female 48% Percentage of primary school children reaching grade 5 was 70 in 1995-1999.

69

Points for discussion before reading the text 1. 2. 3. Is there a law in your country that says that children must go to school? What happens if a child does not go to school? Do children have to work in your country? Does this prevent them from going to school? Do you know anything about children in Bangladesh? Do you know what kind of work they do if they are too poor to go to school?

Questions after reading the text: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Do you know what a blacksmith is? Do you have them in your country? Why did Ilias go to work in Dakha? (There is more than one reason). What do you think of Ilias's work? Would you be able to work like he does? What does Ilias earn? What does he do with what he earns? Why do you think he never goes to a movie? Do you think anything could be done to make Ilias's life better?

Language Fill in with one of the following words. You may use the same word more than once. for from after of at in l. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. When Ilias was in the village he looked ........ the cattle. Most of the time he was absent ........ school. His father sent him to Dakha to look ....... work. Ilias has been in Dakha ........ five years. He gets up early ........ the morning. He goes to the bazaar to buy food ........ lunch. Sometimes he is able to save a bit ........ his money. Ilias sleeps inside the shop ........ night. He feels sorry ....... his brothers and sisters. Ilias suffers ....... the heat.

Vocabulary Find words in the text similar to the following: Example: small (Par.1.) ...... Answer: little 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. away (Par.1.) ........ persuade (Par.1.) ........ wages (Par.2.) ........ costs (Par.2.) ........ live (Par.3.) ........ bring (Par.2.) ........

70

Writing 1. 2. Write about your life showing the differences between your life and that of Ilias. Complete the interview between Ilias and a journalist who is writing about the life of young people in Dakha. The first two lines are done for you. You may add to the questions of the journalist.

Journalist: Tell me about your brothers and sisters. Ilias: I'm the fourth son of the family and I have two sisters. Jo: What does your father do? Il: .............................................................. Jo: Did you go to school in your village? Il: .............................................................. Jo: What made you leave school? Il: ............................................................. Jo: Why did you go to Dakha and how long have you been here? Il: ............................................................. Jo: What kind of work do you do? Il: ............................................................. Jo: What do you eat? Il: .............................................................. Jo: Can you save any money? Il: .............................................................. Jo: When do you see your family? Il: .............................................................. Jo: Where do you sleep, and what happens if you are ill? Il: .............................................................. Jo: Do you have any time off? What do you do then? Il: ............................................................. Jo: Thanks Ilias, and good luck! 3. Write an interview with Ilias’ employer.

71

IN INDIA, GIRL LABOURERS QUIT WORK FOR SCHOOL
1) In Chevella, a town near Hydarabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh, 55 girls aged 9 to 15 sit cross-legged on a classroom floor, intensely absorbed in the day’s lesson. When the teacher asks a question, dozens of hands shoot up. It seems as if they have been in school for years. 2) Yet several months ago, most of these girls couldn’t read, write, add, or subtract. Instead of going to school, many of them had spent their childhoods working in the fields, small factories, or at home. Now, enrolled in a year-long residential camp run by MV Foundation*, a local organization, they study for entrance exams to secondary schools, where they will begin grade 7. 3) The camp, established in September 1995, in a four-storey building, provides intensive education to 90 girls aged 9 to 14, and sometimes older, who have had little or no schooling. A similar camp, in a neighbouring village caters to 50 boys. 4) Manju, 15, sits with her arms folded, textbooks stacked in front of her. Like the other students, Manju wears freshly laundered clothes and carefully braided hair. A year ago, Manju was illiterate. A full time labourer, she put in 12 hours days beginning at 5 a.m. as a flower picker, earning 28 cents a day, and then continuing until early evening as a field worker on the estate of her family’s landlord. Now her one hope in life is to get into secondary school. 5) “I used to feel jealous of the girls next door when I saw them going to school every day,” says Manju, who started classes a year ago, when MV Foundation opened night school in her village. Manju liked the drop-in classes, and decided she wanted to continue her education at MV’s camp. 6) But it wasn’t easy to get there. Her parents thought the idea was a waste of time, until MV’s volunteers convinced them otherwise. MV has sent hundreds of volunteers to villages to urge parents to enrol their children in school. The task is not easy in a country where many parents depend on income from their children’s work. Families are especially reluctant to educate girls who are often married off at age 13, and from then on devote their work and income to the husband’s family. 7) Manju’s decision to begin school at an age when many girls get married angered her older brother. After she enrolled in the camp, he went there several times to threaten the staff. Manju, however, stood firm. 8) “I realised school would be my way out,” says Manju, who wants to run her own business some day. “I want to show my brother and the village adults that they are wrong when they say that being a girl I should not study.” 9) In addition to room and board, camp students get freshly laundered clothes and schoolbooks. They enrol in classes suited to their abilities where teachers emphasise hands on learning and encourage the girls to speak their minds. At the end of their stay, girls who are not ready for secondary, school, may study for entry into primary school 10) Founded in 1990, MV is one of several NGOs working with the state to improve education as a way to keep children out of the workforce. Such efforts are vital in Andhra Pradesh, where the percentage of children holding paid jobs is nearly double that of the rest of the country. An estimated 13 million children in the state, including 45 per cent of the girls attend attend school.
by Laura Lorenz Hess, from: http:// www.unicef.org/features

* MV Foundation is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works outside the government.

72

Points for discussion before reading the text. 1. Hydarabad is in India. Look for it on a map of India. What state is it in? 2. What do you know about going to school in India? Do all children go to school? If not, why not? 3. Many children have to work in India. Why do you think they have to work? 4. Do all children go to school in your country? How long do they stay at school? 5. Do children of school age work in your country? Explain. Questions after reading the text 1. Is this text a story, a report, an article, or an interview? It may be several things. Decide with your partner or in class what the text could be. 2. (Par.1) When the writer visits the school in Hydarabad, she sees girls putting their hands up when the teacher asks a question. Is she surprised? Why? Why not? 3. (Par.2.and 3)) The girls are aged 9 to 14. Why are they all preparing to go into grade 7? 4. (Par.4) Why do you think, the writer noticed how Manju was dressed? 5, (Par.5) Why did Manju decide to join the MV Camp? 6. (Par.6) Give three reasons why it wasn’t easy for Manju to get to the MV Camp. 7. (Par.7) What did Manju’s brother feel about his sister going to the Camp school? 8. (Par.8) What kind of girl does Manju seem to be? 9. (Par.9) In what way does Manju’s school differ from yours? 10. Do you think Manju is going to succeed? Explain. Language 1. Here is something about another girl. Fill in the blanks with a suitable word. You may only use one word at a time. Many girls work in low paying dead end jobs. One of these (1) ………. Mani. She is a tall slender 12 (2) ………. old, who works 8 to 10 hours a day (3) ………. a farm harvesting grapes. Other girls aged 8 to 14 spend their (4) ………. bent over vines as they hack the weeds with long hoes. Mani is proud (5) ………. the fact that she earns (6) ………. But she admits that she has no choice in the matter. Her parents (7) ………. her that they need the income. Asked what she (8) ………. do with her life if she had the (9) ……….. Mani doesn’t hesitate to (10) ………. “I would go to school.” 2. Find a similar word in the text. Example: Par. 1. appears Answer: seems a) Par. 3. founded ……….. b) Par. 4. piled ………. c) Par. 4. unable to read or write. ……… d) Par. 5 envious ………. e) Par. 6 persuade ……….

Par. 6 Par. 8 Par. 8 Par. 9 Par. 10.

rely ………. manage ………. grownups ………. stress ………. very important ……….

73

LAN FROM VIETNAM
1. Lan's eyes look brighter when she talks about school and books. Lan has been living with her mother and sister in a mud house for a few years since her parents divorced. During the day, while her mother is working in the fields, Lan is responsible for taking care of the house and her younger sister. Like other children in the commune of Ninh Phu (between Ho Chi Minh City and the Cambodian border), Lan can therefore not 0attend the regular school. Aware of the problem, the local authorities, with UNICEF's support, have decided to set up special classes for two hours in the evening. Thanks to this system, Lan and 12 of her friends can attend school. She is proud of her ability to read and write. What is her dream? "To complete primary education and learn English in order to have a better job". In her notebook she shows a few words of English that she has learned from her friend who attends the regular school. According to their teacher, all children in Alternative Basic Education (ABE) classes are very motivated. They go to school even if it is raining, because they know that education is their only chance to leave poverty behind. The school tries to reintegrate these children into the normal curriculum, but most of them leave school to work once they have completed five years of education. The ABE solution is not perfect. The level of teaching in ABE classes remains lower than that of regular classes. Children living in poor rural areas continue to drop out from school, because they have to help their family during the harvest time, or take care of their younger brothers and sisters. Sometimes Lan's mother has to leave the village to seek work in other communes for several days. For Lan this means she cannot go to her class even in the evening. To reduce the drop-out rate, local authorities or teachers visit families whose children do not attend school, to convince parents to send their children back to school. In Vietnam, more than one and a half million children remain out of school, either because they have never enrolled or because they have dropped out of school after a year.
from Stories of Children in Vietnam, UNICEF Vietnam 1997.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Some Facts about Vietnam: In South East Asia, frontiers with Laos, Cambodia and China. Population: (1999) over 78 million. Rural population 80% Capital: Hanoi (in the north). Principal town in the south: Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). North and South Vietnam were united in 1976. A new government was elected in 1992. Life expectancy at birth 68 Children enrolled in primary school: 91%. Children completing primary education: 61%

74

Points for discussion before reading the text: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. What do you know about Vietnam? Find Vietnam on a map of South East Asia. In your country, do all children have to go to school? Are there any children in your country who don't go to school? Do you think it is important that all children should go toschool? Why, why not? Do you like going to school? Why, why not? Can you imagine what you would feel if you could not go to school because you had to help your parents? Do you have to look after younger brothers or sisters? If so, do you like it?

Questions after reading the text: 1. Why do you think Lan's eyes look brighter when she talks about school and books? 2. Does Lan learn English at School? Why, why not? 3. What kind of school is ALTERNATIVE BASIC EDUCATION or ABE? 4. Why does their teacher think that the children in ABE are motivated? 5. Why can't Lan always go to her ABE class? 6. Many children drop out of school in Vietnam. What are the local authorities doing about it? 7. What is UNICEF? 8. What is UNICEF doing to help the education of children in Vietnam? Vocabulary Find a word or words in the text that have the same meaning as the these words: Example: taking care of (par. 1.) Answer: looking after 1.frontier (par.1.) ................ 2.finish (par.2.) ................. 3.opportunity (par.3.) ............... 4.the state of being poor (par.3.) ................. Language I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. What do the following words refer to? her (par.1. line 3.) ..................................... the problem (par.2. line 1.) ............................. this system (par.2. line 2.) ............................. that (par.2. line 5.)..................................... their (par.3. line 2.) ................................... them (par.3. line 4.) ..................................... that (par. 4. line 1.) .................................... whose (par 4. line 6.) .................................... their (par 4. line 6.) ................................... they (par.5. line 1 ) ..................................... 5.look for (par.4)................ 6. make smaller (par.4)................. 7. persuade (par.4) ................... 8. stay (par.5)................

75

II. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. III.

Fill in with one of the following words. Each word can be used more than once. to with of from in up Lan lives ..... her mother and sister. Lan takes care ..... her little sister. Her mother works ..... the fields. Lan cannot go ..... school. The local authorities are aware ..... the problem. With UNICEF's support they have set ..... special classes. Lan has learnt some English words ..... her friend. According ..... the teacher the children are very motivated. Most children leave school when they have completed five years ..... education. Sometimes Lan cannot go to her class even ..... the evenings. Fill in with any suitable word. You may only use one word at a time.

Like Lan, around one and a half million children between 6 and 14 years of age cannot attend regular classes. Various causes explain this (1) ........... Children have to (2) .......... at home, in the fields or in the streets during the day. The school is too (3) .......... away or does not exist at all. Teaching is not relevant to the children's (4) .......... and many ethnic minority children do not understand Vietnamese. To address these problems which deprive children of their basic (5) .......... to education, the government (6) .......... Vietnam, assisted by UNICEF, has developed Alternative Basic (7) .......... models in all provinces. ABE provides (8) .......... with primary education through flexible classes lasting two hours (9) .......... of four, early in the morning or late (10) .......... the afternoon so that they are free during the (11) .......... of the day. Sometimes classes (12) .......... place outside of school in a place closer to the children, such (13) .......... the commune's pagoda. Children are provided (14) .......... free educational material. The goal of ABE is to make sure that all children, even the most disadvantaged ones can (15) .......... an education. !V. a) b) friend. c) d) e) Fill in with a correct form of the verb in brackets. The sentences are in the present tense, so do not use any past tenses. While her mother (work) ............ in the fields, Lan looks after the house. In her note book, Lan has a few words in English which she (learn) ............ from a Most children leave school once they (complete) ............ 5 years of education. Children are very motivated and go to school even if it (rain) ............ . Many children remain out of school because they (drop) ............ out after a year.

76

ONE MONK, ONE VILLAGE
“I particularly make sure I get the children involved in plant nursery work”, explained Buddhist monk Thera. “The older generation destroyed the forests, now the children are going to recreate those forests by planting trees exactly on the spots where their fathers cut them down”. 6,000 seedlings, provided by the monk’s nursery, have been used to reforest a crucial 2.5 hectars of hilltop in the south western Sri Lankan village of Galahitya. It is one example of the environmental reclamation of this remote village. When the monk arrived at the village in the early 1980s, he conducted a quality-of-life survey, which revealed malnutrition, poor sanitation, deforestation, landlessness and lack of health care. The only positive result of his survey was the finding that 99 of the hundred village families were willing to work to improve the village, given a bit of help. Monk Thera became a link between the government and the villagers, nagging and encouraging both. He helped villagers write letters which got them land grants; he encouraged them to boil water, build latrines, plant gardens and build a road to bring services in and make health care more accessible. Sri Lankan villages have produced many such catalysts or “animateurs” from all walks of life. In 1984, 130 environmental groups from all over the nation came together to form the Sri Lankan Environmental Congress, with the Galahitya monk as its secretary. Of his own work in the village, Thera said: “ In a sense I have launched a war. I am not doing badly at all. I shall show others how to win this war”.
From Children and the Environment UNICEF and UNEP 1990

Points for discussion before reading the text 1. What is a monk? What religions have monks? 2. How does a Bhuddist monk spend his life? 3. This text is about Sri Lanka. Find it on a map. What is the main religion of Sri Lanka? Questions after reading the text 1. What bad things did Thera, the Bhuddist monk, find when he came to the village of Galahitya? 2. What good things did he find? 3. What did the monk succeed in doing? 4. Thera said: “I have launched a war”. What did he mean?

77

1. Circle the number that best completes the sentence. a). The children are going to plant 1) nursery work 2) destroyed forests 3) trees The hill top in the village of Galahitya was reforested by 1) the people in the village 2) the monk 3) the survey By writing letters to the government, the villagers got 1) boiled water 2) latrines 3) land grants As a result of his work, the monk Thera became 1) an “animateur” 2) secretary of the Environmental Congress 3) founder of the Environmental Congress.

b)

c)

d)

2. Find a similar word in the text to the following: 1. especially (para. 1) ……………… 2.very important (para. 2) …………….. 3.showed (para. 2) ………………. 4. reachable (para. 3) ………………. 5. conference (para. 4) ……………….. Some facts about Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, which used to be called Ceylon, is an island south east of India. Its capital is Colombo. There is much conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamils who are 20% of the population. The main religion is Buddhism. Occupied by the Portuguese and the Dutch, Ceylon was conquered by Britain in 1815 and was a British colony until independence in 1948. In 1999, population was18.639 million,(17.002 in 1990). Life expectancy: 74. (71 in 1998)

78

ROGER, THE GANG LEADER
(1) Roger is twelve, but experience-wise he could be 21 years old. He is already a leader, a kuya (older brother), of a group of children who live off Manila’s streets, supporting themselves from begging, scavenging, pushing carts or peddling. Junjun, 9, who is in Roger’s gang, says a leader is the oldest and biggest gang member who provides and protects the others. (2) Under Roger’s rough leadership, the children are able to survive the hassles of the street and even enjoy it. Junjun says they play a lot, running and skipping and going after cars. Junjun says his friends help him earn money. (3) Roger’s gang doesn’t believe in pilfering, but begging is an art to be learned. Through his friends, Junjun says that he has learned to use his eyes, his voice, even his body posture, to hopefully evoke pity from a passer-by. The children learn a set of codes and words that an outsider to that group may not understand, giving them a sense of belonging and unity. (4) Roger has learnt how to deal with the fights inside the group, being both a judge and a carer to the other children. (5) Many children, like Roger, have grown up in the streets and don’t know any other life. Life has dealt them a raw deal, but a number have responded with zest, determination and creativity. (6) When asked, many would say they would rather be off the streets. But it seems like society has thrown them out and slammed the doors shut. They might as well learn how to live with the harsh reality- and survive, says Roger, a child who knows what he is talking about.
Outreach, originally from the Philippines Daily Enquirer, 9 May 1993

Questions before reading the text

1. What do you know about street children? Do you have them in your country? If so, where? 2. Street children usually live in gangs. Why do you think they do this? 3. Many street children depend on petty theft to pay for their needs. So people assume they are all criminals. They do not try to understand why these children break the law or why they are poor. Can you explain why these children often have to break the law? 4. These children are discriminated against. Do you know people who are discriminated against? If you do, describe them. 5. Can anything be done to help street children? Suggest some ways.

79

Questions after reading the text 1. What do the street children in Manila do to pay for their needs? What are their needs? 2. What seems to be the gang’s most usual way of earning money? 3. Who is the leader of the gang, and what is his job in the gang? 4. What does Junjun think of Roger? 5. What gives the gang a sense of belonging? 6. How do children evoke (get) pity from passers-by? 7. What is Roger’s philosophy of life? 8. Why is Roger the leader of the gang? Language A. Fill in the blanks with one of the following words: You may use the same word more than once. to about in of from 1. The gang doesn’t believe……..pilfering, 2. The children learn a set……..words that outsiders may not understand, 3. They learn ways to evoke pity……..passers-by. 4. They have a sense……..belonging and unity. 5. Roger is a child who knows what he is talking…….. . B. Fill in the blanks with a correct form of the verb in brackets. 1. Though only twelve now, Roger ……… (be) already a leader. 2. Begging is an art that must ………. (learn). 3. Roger is a judge and a carer. He ………. (learn) how to deal with fights. 4. The children have grown up in the streets and ……….. (not know) another life. 5. Roger knows what he ………. (talk) about. C. Make up sentences using these phrases. You can use any tense that is suitable. Do not copy sentences from the text, but use them to help you. 1. would rather. 4. it seems 2. might as well. 5. believe in 3. be able

E. Find a similar word in the text to the following 1. (paragraph 1) selling in the street …………….. 2. (paragraph 3) stealing ………….. 3. (paragraph 5) feeling ………… 4. (paragraph 5) energy …………. 5. (paragraph 6) stern ………….. F. What do the following words refer to in the text? Example: he (paragraph 1, line 1) Answer:…Roger… 1. who (paragraph 1, line 4) ………… 2. It (paragraph 2, line 2) ………….. 3. them paragraph 3, line 4) ………… 4 a number (paragraph 5, line 2) ………… 5. many (paragraph 6, line 1) …………

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful