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For a long time we have felt that learning English is critical for the advancement of the Tamil people. They live in a country where they cannot talk with 70% of the population and when dealing with the government (which is constantly) they are at a severe disadvantage. In addition, English skills are key to a well paying job. With unemployment high and jobs scarce, English skill is often the deciding factor when hiring.
There are English schools in Batticaloa that charge about $80 per month which is out of the reach of the average family. In addition, all English classes both in school and private are taught by Tamils who usually did not learn the language well themselves. The students at best learn a very flawed version of the language. Our plan is to entice American young adults to come for three to six months to teach in the school. They will gain valuable experience and insight and we will keep costs down because we will not need to pay a professional.
We will open the schools in the poorest areas. Our first will be in the town of Chenkalady, about 10 miles north of Batticaloa. Here we will have students from families that have some money and can afford to pay. More importantly it is accessible by bike or bus to the extremely poor whose families work in the rice paddies, the ones we are actually trying to reach. Scholarships will be provided based solely on need.