The Tellipalai Union College, one of the oldest schools in the country, celebrates 200 years this year. The school which was severely affected by the war functioned from elsewhere as its original land was within the High Security Zone.
The school which is located in Tellippalai about 17 kms north of Jaffna town was started by the American Ceylon Mission as far back as 1816. The school celebrated its 200th anniversary in grand style on October 15 with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena.
Union College which traditionally has held the responsibility for the education of a vast population living in the surrounding villages of Valikamam North is now facing new challenges. The entire school has to be rebuilt as almost all the classrooms and the historically significant main building named Sanders Hall had been demolished or burnt during the war.
This herculean task is being bravely handled with state assistance as well as the generous support from the past students in Sri Lanka and overseas. The school is located in an area where large scale resettlement of families has taken place after the end of the war.
This process of resettlement is still going on. This has put tremendous pressures on the school as it has to gear up to look after children coming from families adversely affected by the war and are economically underprivileged. A significant number of these students have neglected their education in the early years.