Transformative Impact: A teacher’s journey to prevent alcohol abuse and support student well-being

Publicerat 2024-04-22

Ms. Anupama Wijitha Kumari, a teacher at St. Anne’s Primary School in Wattala, Sri Lanka, recently took part in an alcohol prevention course organized by ADIC (Alcohol and Drug Information Centre) in partnership with the IOGT-NTO Movement. This course proved to be a transformative experience for her, equipping her with the knowledge and skills needed to address issues stemming from alcohol use within her students’ families. 

Ms. Anupama Wijitha Kumari teaching during her lesson

One incident stands out in Ms. Kumari’s mind, involving a student who had shown a drastic decline in school performance. Through careful observation and intervention, she discovered that the child’s academic struggles were linked to the turmoil at home caused by her father’s alcohol consumption. 

 Determined to make a difference, Ms. Kumari engaged the child in discussions and eventually involving her parents in the conversation. By highlighting the detrimental effects of alcohol use on their children’s well-being and academic performance, through continuous support and guidance, the child’s parents made the decision to address their issues and focus on their children’s happiness and future.  

 During the end of 2023, Ms. Kumari received feedback from the child’s mother and relatives, indicating that the father had acknowledged his past mistakes, reduced his alcohol consumption, and committed to rebuilding their family. Witnessing the child’s return to her former self, happy and thriving in this year academics, filled Ms. Kumari with a sense of fulfilment and gratitude for the impact she had made. Her experience serves as a reminder of the difference that teachers can make in the lives and wellbeing of their students.