June 18th, 2009 - Posted By Sujata Gamage
Eight thousand of the 10,000 principals failed examination
God bless the students (Lanka-e-News, June 11, 2009, 7.20 PM; http://www.lankaenews.com/English/news.php?id=7842)
“The entire education of Sri Lanka has been politicized and collapsed. Eighty percent of the education officers are political appointees. Eight thousand of the 10,000 principals are politically chosen persons who have failed the recruitment examination. After 2005, no proper selection of principals has taken place. Although the authorities say that the 2006 gazette will be followed for the principal appointments, those who obtained 185 marks in the examination were dropped and those who obtained 115 marks were given posts. The Supreme Court ordered to cancel these wrongful appointments and to give principal posts to those who obtained over 155 marks. But it was ignored. Although 22,000 persons have been given acting principal posts, mere 1268 are qualified for the posts. The results of the 2006 competitive examination for recruiting principals are still not released.
“This is the pathetic situation of the education now.
“Education sector has become a house for elders. The age of the Secretary of the Education Ministry is 61 years. The Additional Secretary – Education Development is 63 years. The age of the Director General of National Institute of Education is 65. Can education be developed with these officials who have surpassed the retiring age?”
These issues were raised by the UNP Monaragala district MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara who is also the Chairman of the National Education Workers’ Union.
Addressing a press meeting held in the office of the Opposition Leader, the MP pointed to the fact that 199 of the 200 Grade-1 Education Officers are political appointees and asked how these under qualified persons manage the education of the country.
Further showing the pathetic situation of the education under the present government, MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that 2900 persons are withdrawing salaries without rendering any service related to their positions. Although the number of Grade-2 Education Officer positions in the Education Department is 1783, with the political appointments 3000 persons are in the cadre. Most of them have no any qualification sans political alignments to bear the positions.
All Provincial Education Directors have been appointed considering their political links than the educational qualifications. An ordinary trained teacher is appointed as the Provincial Education Director of the North Central Province and there are 28 others in the administration who are senior to him, explained MP Madduma Bandara.
The MP said that the project to provide a nutritious meal to the students has also terminated since the suppliers have not been paid. The education must be relieved from politics, said MP Madduma Bandara.
Sri Lanka allocates mere 2.6% for education whilst Cuba allocates 18%, Malaysia 8.1% Bhuthan 5.2% and India 4.1% for education. He appealed the government to increase the allocations for the education since the war is over now.