Sixteen-year-old Shigani Sivaraja is the eldest daughter of a family of two girls from Kirimetiya, Nanu Oya in Nuwara Eliya district. She is a very bright student at the Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya too. She becomes the first in her class at each and every term test. Shigani’s father is a mason and depends on irregular and rare work he gets while the mother is confined to house as a housewife which means the income of the family is not consistent nor sufficient. This affects the two girls’ education but both the parents try to make ends’ meet under hostile conditions to ensure the two girls get a decent education.
Shigani belongs to the first set of students of the Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya. She studies English at the Academy. She is also a talented painter and a dancer. There are around 500 students in her public school, Dessford Public School. Her dream is to become an engineer someday. Even though the number of students enters universities from her village is not that big at the moment, the trend is changing now. Young students do not confine their horizons just to work in tea gardens as tea-pluckers anymore. They have bigger dreams like Shigani.
Shigani is sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level (OL) examination in 2020, a national level exam Sri Lankan students sit for before entering GCE Advanced Level (AL.) This means she will have to spend extra money on private tuition classes, traveling, etc. from the next year onwards. After OL, Shigani hopes to study mathematics subjects for AL.