Pahamune House exists for one purpose only: to provide emotional, physical and educational support for students in desperate need whose lives can be transformed by such enhanced levels of care.
We are always oversubscribed and have to make heartbreaking decisions each year about those students who are both in the most desperate need and most able to benefit from our facilities. As such we aim to offer places to students who meet a minimum academic level so that they can be placed in the best possible local schools. This will allow those we take to reap the maximum benefit from what we can offer.
Our students are offered places in local schools where they are taught during normal school hours. After that they return to Pahamune and are involved in a programme of sports, educational play and support lessons in local languages (Tamil and Sinhala), English, Mathematics, IT, Religion and Science. Our hope is that we can support them both in achieving the highest academic success in local examinations as well as improving their English to a level where they can confidently use English within any future careers in Sri Lanka.
If our children remained within their own communities, they would be unlikely to progress beyond local O Levels which are taken at sixteen. Many would achieve poor results at that stage or would fail to gain any qualifications as parents would require them to work to bring money into the household.
Our aim, therefore, is to raise ambitions and achievement to a level where the majority of the children will have the opportunity to progress to A Levels. We also hope that a few will progress to university.
However we also recognise that a few will not achieve sufficient academic levels to go beyond O Level and so we aim to provide these with more vocational skills geared to local industries such as tourism, jewellery, textiles and commerce, as of early 2008, we introduced jewellery stone setting and jewellery making and Art as additional vocatianal subjects.
Within Sri Lanka there are also numerous opportunities to take part-time courses to qualify for careers while working and we aim to educate our children to understand how they might build a career without the expenditure required by university studies. Here we aim to provide some form of careers programme at Pahamune and to build an understanding of opportunities for life-long learning.
As a part of the local community we also aim to integrate our students into our local environment and to explore the opportunities of utilising our facilities and expertise to improve education more generally in the locality of Naramalla. However in this priority will always be given to our students and their needs.
Finally, we hope that our children will become ambassadors and examples of the benefits of tolerance and integration. We also believe that they will benefit their own home communities by imparting to them the lessons and values of Pahamune.