Prof. Wisawa Warnapala, minister for higher education, was invited to say a few words at the University Librarians Association annual conference on June 8th and he took nearly one hour to reminisce about the good old times, complain about the non-academic staff, faculty and lack of scholarship, students and lack of love of learning and many other ills of the university system. Then he went on (again*) to stress the need for a vision, mission, goals objectives etc.
This is coming from a man who, on his own admission, has been in positions of power in the academia for decades, and then since 1996 or so, in politics. He is not the only one in power to complain and not to do anything. MInister Siripala silva, for one, is constantly complaining about health workers and so do other ministers taking up our time telling us what we already know. It is time the public asked for accountability from each of these individuals.
As for higher education, Minister Warnapala, please pick one issue at least and do something about it without taking up our time delivering lectures or eating up our our tax rupees holding ministerial positions. For a start challenge the the university staff, academic and non-academic, to carry out their responsibilities before they talk about rights. How about asking them for a commitment to a regular academic calendar for the university in return for whatever they are asking?
Please re-read the section on the powers of the minister in the Higher Education Act of 1978. You have the power to change things. Exercise it or please resign.
*In another recent speech reproduced in the previous post in this forum he ends by calling “What the country needs is a coherent higher education policy framework and the formation of a vision for the long-term development of a comprehensive and diversified Higher Education system, which can contribute to national growth.” We have policies plenty. Please check the old documents from your predecessor or look in your own cupboards. What is missing is a doer minister.