Anargi’s CAS Journey

Journey of an IB student

Sri Sucharitha Movement 2.0

Transitioning from June to July, the somewhat chaotic political landscape of the Colombo heightened to reveal multiple discrepancies; especially regarding the flaws of the education ministry. The whirlwind that were the general parliamentary elections, that unofficially began in late June, left a trail of unanswered questions and saddening realizations in terms of the neglected marginalized communities living in the hidden slums of Colombo, or what is locally known as, “Maddah Colombo”. By engaging in a localized issue of global significance, I saw that the thin strips of land stretching behind the front line of small shacks lining the roads, unnoticeably led to a festering of crowded living space in the harshest of conditions. A faint limelight was shone on this situation when the blatantly one-sided media and politically charged newspapers forced their way into these locations to boast of ‘houses’ and living conditions that they ‘gave’ to the low-income families, as a form of pro-bono charity work. However, the news coverage of this situation ironically caused significant backlash as the unutterable truth of their living space and deliberate infringement of principle rights led to public rejection of the governing body and NGO’s scrambling to atone for their mistakes. Through the mayhem, I wanted to play an active role in helping to alleviate their situation, and to do so as penance for my ignorance towards these communities that I co-habituated with. Remembering that my grandfather, prior to his political aspirations and career and while he was a student himself, began the ‘Suchariytha Foundation’; a place where he gave free schooling and tutoring lessons to the neighborhood kids in “Maddah Colombo”, I had plans of mimicking his public service and continuing the Sri Sucharitha Movement.Although this practice was discontinued once he began his political career, I hoped to pick up the mantel and continue this service; not only as a tribute to my grandfather’s charity but also to do my part in giving back to the country that raised me and its people.

Avishka (10) sitting with his mother after class. Credits: Anargi

Demonstrating how to initiate and plan my CAS experience by having opened the doors to Suchariytha, the word of my classes spread quickly through the neighboring communities and groups of children in the public-school system began attending my classes on English and basic French. Being a higher – level Lang and Lit student, I hoped to embody not only the CAS learning outcomes but the attributes that OSC has embedded within me of being principled and caring. In particular, I identified my own strengths which proved to me my IB education and developed areas for growth, which revolved around giving back to society, as I felt I was somehow lacking in the ‘service’ department due to RCCI interactions being temporarily halted. One of the reasons that drove me to implement this plan so effectively and quickly was because I felt an inherent obligation to impart my learning and exploit my fruitful learning opportunities on those who could not afford to do so, thereby reflecting on the ethics and choices of my actions.

My students ranged from 10 – 14 years and had fluctuating levels of literacy in the English language. At first, I didn’t think that my classes really helped to improve their orating and comprehension skills, since I found it increasingly harder to ask them to complete the work as they got more familiar and comfortable with me. However, after assessing their growth every two weeks and showing perseverance commitment to the experience, I realized that they had fundamentally improved from when they first started, and understood that the students best learn in a comfortable and flexible standing, unlike the rigid conformity of the local schools.

Sanka, Mali and Charitha standing in line for after class snacks (with their parents) Photo Credits: Anargi

Unfortunately, as the first day of school neared, I had to tell their parents that I was unable to continue this practice, especially three times a week, and negotiated for an hour every Saturday. After a brief hiatus, where I spent time acclimating to the second strand of the DP syllabus and this COVID -19 centric environment that became OSC, I planned to resume my sessions on the 29th of September. As stated in my CAS Goals, the purpose of my involvement is contributing my part into improving the social scheme of Sri Lanka and help other in their journey of reaching their full potential.


*Meeting the precedent of my CAS posts before, I attempted to photograph and show evidence of my CAS experience, however the parents of my students were uncomfortable with doing so out of fear of their schooling institutions penalizing their children for receiving outside learning supplements.  Nonetheless, I convinced two parents to let me take individual photos outside the classroom to provide some form of validation for my CAS post.

ajayakody2 • October 29, 2020

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar