Who Ruined Education in Sri Lanka: What can be done?
Posted on September 4th, 2012

By Garvin Karunaratne, formerly of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service

These days the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe is accusing the Government of destroying Education in Sri Lanka. Ranil Wickremasinghe is also on the streets supporting the dons who are on strike.  The  TNA is accusing the Government that it ruined the chances of Tamil youths and even threatens an armed rebellion.

Let us delve back, to a few decades ago when our education was accepted as ideal, when our University did turn out graduates who could man not only our Government Departments but even hold high ranks in foreign universities and foreign countries. Our education system did produce Professor Gunapala Malalasekera, , the legal luminary Christy Weeramantry, the erudite administrator Nissanka Wijeyratne, the man who created the Sacred City of Anuradhapura within two years, Jinapala Alles the Director General of Education in Sri Lanka, later consultant to Unesco who contributed for the science education in schools.  Many are the feats of administrators in Sri Lanka all educated in Sri Lankan universities. Given the problem of youth unemployment in Bangladesh, I argued with the military administrators in 1982 and fought a two hour battle to get approval to commence a youth self employment programme, in a situation where in the earlier three years the ILO had wasted millions of dollars and miserably failed to establish an employment creation project in Tangail. By 2011, the Youth Self Employment Programme designed and established by me had guided two million youths to become self employed. It is the largest employment creation programme one can find anywhere. An entire Ministry worked with me and I would have perhaps been deported or even faced the firing squad if I had failed.  Let us talk of agricultural science. Was it not the Batalagoda Rice Research Center, manned entirely by products of our university that produced the first miracle paddy seeds, well before the IRRI was established in the Philippines.

However today the Dons are on the streets protesting that the Government is only allocating an insignificant, 1.9 of the GDP for education, instead of 6% and that everything in Education in Sri Lanka is due to the mismanagement by the present Government. It is important to note that Education got around 5% of the GDP only during the days of Prime Minister Sirimavo in  1972 and that since then the amount spent has been dwindling. The UNP, the  JVP and even the TNA cry out loud that our education system is ruined.

It is true that the Education Department had failed in setting examination papers. That is purely an administrative matter, where the section heads had failed. The Z score is another administrative failure. The section heads should have been given a standing sack. The Universities  are under funded. When I visited the famous Agricultural University of Mymensingh in Bangladesh in 1982 I found a library without any reference books. The under funding of education is  not limited to Sri Lanka.

Talking about positives, Sri Lankan schools did create wonders. At Matara, when I required the services of science teachers to find how to make crayons, it was the science laboratory at Rahula College that found the art, under the direction of my Planning Officer, Vetus Fernando,  a chemistry graduate from  the University of Colombo. Suffice it to state that from 1972 to 1977, the Crayon Factory at Deniyaya produced crayons of high quality for a tenth of Sri Lanka’s requirements till the industry was closed by the UNP of President Jayawardena.

When and how did this demise happen?

I can speak out about the education standards till I left Sri Lanka in 1973. There were school inspectors  sitting in at classes, impromptu, and teachers were pulled up. Many of our eminent educated personages were products of this system that was totally intact till 1977.

1977 to 1994, marked the death knell for education in Sri Lanka. Instead of spending foreign exchange to fund the libraries and equip the science laboratories in universities and schools, that money was all fritted away as funds to educate the children of the rich in foreign countries. Fanciful  allocations of foreign exchange were allowed, all obtained on foreign loans to educate the children of the rich. This was the IMF prescription for the education of the Third World, which we followed from 1978. Ranil Wickremasinghe was once the Minister for Education under this regime and if he has any matter left in his head he should know of this more than any other human being.

Instead of developing the government schools that did provide a great education creating erudite professors and able adminsrators the United National Party allowed the emergence of Private English Schools, commonly called International schools to cater to the children of the rich. These schools were allowed foreign exchange and functioned under the Board of Investment(BOI) and did  not even come under the Education Ministry. These international schools created students that were taught under their own curriculum and trained students to sit for  foreign universities. These schools established at the expense of the country’s foreign exchange produced students that shunned the culture of our country. That is what happened to our school education under the UNP rule of 1978 to 1994, a problem that cannot be undone even today.

An important matter for concern is what the erudite dons in the Universities were doing when the UNP was destroying our well established education system both at the university as well as the school level. Did any of them voice themselves about the damage being done to our education system? No. They were all silent till now. Today the Dons have woken up from deep slumber and are out on the streets demanding that 6% of the GDP should be spent on education. Economist Uswatta Aratchi has pointed out that the Government cannot find the funds unless through taxation. It is true that Sri Lanka taxes are below the levels of both the UK and the USA. But the under funding for education is there in the health sector etc. Thus it has to be an all round increase to fund all services. Cannot the erudite dons understand this fundamental fact?

This I can understand because when in 1997, when at the request of Professor Sinnetamby, the Professor of Economics I lectured to the economics dons at Peradeniya on the economics underlying the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programme all of them pretended to know, raised no concern to what was really happening to the Third World economies.  It was not their concern to find out how and why the currency value of the Turkish Lira of 338 Lira  to the GB pound in 1983 had slumped to around  Lira 2,000,000 to the GB pound by 1997(today the value has further slumped to 2,800,000). This is true of African countries like Ghana where the value Lira 5.7 to the GB Pound in 1983 has slumped to  around 16,000 Cedi by 1997 (today the value has slumped to 31,300 Old Cedi) What are the economics of Devaluation of Currencies? Who benefits?  When President Jayawardena accepted the IMF’s Structural Adjusztment Programme in 1977, the value of the Sri Lankan Rupee slumped  100% in one year.(Rupees 15.8 to 31.0) All the dons in economics were in deep slumber. Why did none of them relate to what is happening in today’s economic world and why did they only teach economic theory from books without relating it to today’s world and how the Third World economies were taken for a ride. The fact remains that the IMF in its Structural Adjustment Programme provided a method to make the Third World countries indebted and most Third World countries succumbed. The countries were brought down to their knees because they could not find money to fund the interest and repayments for the loans they took unless by taking further loans. In other words the IMF subjugated these countries by making them indebted. Where were our economic pundits then?

It is time that the UNP did take stock of the harm they did to the economy of Sri Lanka, especially its education system. during their regime of 1977 to 1994.

It is interesting to note the voice of the TNA to the effect that their youth suffered due to the standardization of marks for University entrance. The youths in Colombo too suffered as youths from far off areas like Badulla and Hambantota  got preference. This standardization had adverse effects on the students in all conurbation areas. The TNA is even threatening an armed uprising.  The TNA should realize for once that the North and the East became a battle field not due to the Government of Sri Lanka but due to their own leaders like Ponnambalam demanding Fifty Fifty when the Tamil population was as low as seventeen percent and Prabhakaran being misled, trained and armed by India under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India to destabilize Sri Lanka. Many have forgotten that the LTTE was raised and nurtured by India.  I am certain that the poor Tamils every where in Sri Lanka are undergoing the same hardships that the poor Sinhala and Muslim people are undergoing in all parts of Sri Lanka.

The blame for the parlous state of education in Sri Lankan universities cannot be undone by shouting and parading on the streets. The university dons get paid far more than Sri Lankan administrators. It is necessary for all dons in all aspects to get their house in order by relating what they teach to today’s world.

It would augur well for the Departments of Economics to relate their teaching to what has happened to the economies of the Third World and even the Developed countries by following the freemarket mode of economics propounded by Professor Milton Friedman, allowing the Private Sector to run the economy and to confine the Public Sector to the barracks. They are kindly requested to study my books:

“Microenterprise Development: A Strategy for Poverty Alleviation & Employment Creation in the Third World: The Way out of the IMF Stranglehold”(Sarasavi, 1997

“How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka & Alternate Programmes of Success”

(Godages, 2006), reduce my arguments to shreds and come out with their own solutions.

The fact is that the Third World countries that were trying to develop by allocating the foreign exchange to bring about national development and were adopting budgetary and foreign exchange control to bring about national development by enabling self sustained development were all made to take loans and provide for the rich of the country to live in luxury while the majority of the population suffered not only in education but in employment and incomes. The IMF created in every Third World country an enclave of rich people who bought things from the Developed Countries and educated their children in foreign countries. Was this acceptable as far as national development is concerned? This should be the task addressed by all dons in economics. In education, the dons should relate to how the free education system with its Central Schools to cater to the high achievers of their entire catchment area has been starved of funds and instead funds (foreign exchange) diverted to provide for international schools for the children of the rich. It should be their concern to find a practical solution to end the  dual education system one for the masses and another for the rich created by the UNP in its regime of 1977 to 1994. Historians should relate to the history of development effort. They have to relate history to the plunder of the Third World economies under colonial domination and study why development effort has failed so far. “”…” for instance as to why the stupendous Community Development Programme of India, the world’s largest economic development programme failed.  In science study the dons should relate their research and study to enable development. When I was directing our efforts at Matara to find the art of making crayons, my Planning Officer who went to his dons beseeching for help was turned away. After trailing his professors for three days, trying to get them to address the technical problems we faced in the process of manufacture, he  was thrown out and told to get lost. He came back with a broken heart, a person who boasted that he could get his dons to help came back a broken man in both limb and spirit. I stood by him and the science teachers and kachcheri officials all clustered around him. The myriad experiments we did at Rahula College Matara in the dead of night for a month or more  every day enabled us to find the art of making crayons. The dons should take over the task of making all items that we import and guide these industries to success. Then the voice  of the dons will be heard. Then President Rajapaksa will be behind the dons when Minister Dissanayake turns down their request. Let us not forget that Minister Dissanayake is a graduate from Jayawardenapura and would cherish to see his University taking charge of development functions.

Let us hope and pray that education in Sri Lanka will do prosper and it is a task that lies more within the dons  than  with the politicians. The UNP and the TNA that are belligenent should look at how they have failed. The UNP should hide their face in shame for having ruined an excellent world class education system that did exist and instead for having built up a dual education system one for the masses and another for the rich that has proved to be a cancer that cannot be easily eliminated.

 Garvin Karunaratne, former Government Agent Matara,B.A. Hons & M.A.(Peradeniya), M.Ed.(Manchester). M.Phil.(Edinburgh) & Ph.D.(Michigan State University)

September 1, 2012

17 Responses to “Who Ruined Education in Sri Lanka: What can be done?”

  1. nandimitra Says:

    We the products of an excellent education from C W W Kannangara’s free education system must lament the shortsightedness of our rulers. This education system is geared to slavery of the mind to the western way of life. This is purposely done by the IMF and the world bank. It is ironic that the poor whose children are given a poor education subsidise a elite from the new paying international schools for education abroad. It is interesting that the foreign exchange returns of 6 maids (slaves) are needed to fund 1 student abroad. This on the long term is detrimental to Sri Lanka as much as it is immoral. Sri Lanka fails because these detrimental policies are never questioned The servility is achieved by politicisation of the appointments, encouragement of tuition, and gradual reduction of the subsidy with out adequate discussion. It is very sad! It is time the retired expatriate academics return and be given appointments to revive this flagging education system, ban private tuition by government teachers, and free the country of interference by politicians of the education system. It is time people like Ranil Wickremesinghe ,are asked to account. God save our country.

  2. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    The sleezy, slimy, eel wriggler Ranil should not be taken seriously. This doesn’t mean the current government should fail to redress the serious issues pertaining to Education, which is the foundation of any country. The former Education Minister of the current administration failed miserably in bringing about reforms such as banning private tution by government teachers, which led to teachers misusing resources and concentrating teaching ‘the right stuff’ after hour classes. He was clueless on the stance he should take on the English issue, allowing English medium of instruction in State Schools, instead of English being taught as a subject.
    As Garvin points out self emplyment is the way to go to absorb shock, so to speak, the dependancy of especially garduates on state employment. Why not run courses at Final year at Unis, at an optional level ‘How to run a Small Business’ to teach the fundamentals of running a small business? We were theoritical pundits and we and few other nations in the region, have an edge over rest of the world when it comes to maths etc. but practical education as promoted by my former teacher, the great hockey coach (shown on a TV doco in Canada) Mr. Leonidas James, the brilliant teacher at Kingswood, is almost nil. Everytime we had practicals in Chemistry at Uni we were given a mixture of salts to analyse. Surely we can go beyond this at least at a project level, to outside world and begin analysing an ore or something and in groups involved in to innovating or inventing something applying laws in chemistry and physics? Why do we concentrate so much on theory, cramming and vomiting at exams? Can we mould education not forcussed on exams only and produce practical people who would have a basic knowledge of running a business too? We are a nation bogged down on theory and very little emphasis on applying the theory we gain to innovate and invent things. the goverment should establish a body in Sri Lanka to coordinate Government, Private sector and the Universities to come up with new research which will benefit monetarily the innovator/s and inventor/s. The future will depend on research not solely imported from other countries but by local home grown stuff to build a nation of people who can ‘think’ rather than listen to westerners who exploit our country to the hilt.

  3. Dham Says:

    Ranil has said “Government is destroying education same way as it destroyed LTTE”.
    He likes LTTE so much, doesn’t like LTTE destroyed.
    He pretends to like EDUCATION and pretends doesn’t like it destroyed.
    Actually , he is the one gave life to dead LTTE and destroyed education.

    Cannot obey IMF which is destroying all poor countries and that is their mission, ordered by the Zionists.

  4. Dham Says:

    F—tamil,
    Sri lankans do not need world renown educational institutions. They have the brains.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    A fine analysis by Dr Karunaratne. We are truly sorry that the local Crayon industry was destroyed. We wish the present GoSL would pick it up again.

    Simply put, Education must be geared to suit the needs of Sri Lanka.

    As a very young person learning from our class Reader book that we, in Sri Lanka, wear clothes to “keep warm”
    (in this hot climate ?), I felt something is wrong in our text books. Obviously, the book was a direct translation of an English Reader written for the children in the west. The correct answer should have been that we wear clothes to cover our naked bodies, to protect the body, to enhance features, to be accepted in society, etc. The same mistake has happened at every higher level in our Education system, only more complex. The local component in the Education system is for the ‘kata paadam’ (memorising) only, it seems, and not to suited to teaching students to solve problems in real life.

    As I wrote before, I have seen tv programs in USA where High School children are given real life problems to solve. When successful, it empowers children that they can handle real problems in the real world. Why can’t we teach the same way in Sri Lanka with different types of problems to solve by different age groups ?

    We heartily agree that the Education system must be re-vamped, sooner the better, to suit the needs of Sri Lanka. Those who wish to study and go abroad ought to have some private schools/Colleges to do so, as a safety outlet, or else there will be more battles re Education here. Of course, such an education will be more expensive, but that will suit the affluent folk who may wish to go abroad. Job preference, locally, ought to be to those who have studied for the local needs.

    It is time our children knew how to be Self Sufficient and make world class goods from the raw materials found in Sri Lanka itself, wherever it is possible. Self respect of a Nation comes from self reliance. An Education System geared for the needs of Sri Lanka will a very important component of Self respect of the Individual and the Nation.

  6. jay-ran Says:

    ” It is true that Sri Lanka taxes are below the levels of both the UK and the USA. But the under funding for education is there in the health sector etc. Thus it has to be an all round increase to fund all services. Cannot the erudite dons understand this fundamental fact?”
    Yes Sir, THESE PUNDITS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS FUNDERMENTAL FACTS” Because THEY THINK THEY ARE TOO BIG FOR THEIR SHOES!!!
    Highly commendable annalisys by Garwin Karunaratne, WHICH SHOULD READ BY THESE PUNDITS, JVP AND UNP JOKERS AS WELL AS MR’s ADMINISTRATION TOO.
    These dons are HIGHLY SELFISH MOTIVATED LOT OF TEACHERS who do not care for others.As Darwin says, these dons are paid very much higher than the other services andTHEY DEMAND AN EXACT POUND OF FLESH.
    Its high time that the Govt ADOPT A SIMILER METHOD LIKE THE LATE Mrs SIRIMAO BANDARANAYAKE WHO DECLARED EMERGENCY LAWS TO COMBAT A WORK STOPAGE BY THE MEDICAL DOCTORS OF GOVT HOSPITALS DECLARING THAT THEIR MOVEABLE AND IMMOVEABLE PROPERTIES OF ALL STRIKING DOCTORS TO BE CONFISCATED.
    The strike ended there.Later and some yrs back this was revaled by a FORMER SUPERINDENT OF HEALTH SERVICES WHO TOO WANTED TO STRIIKE, ADMIRING LATER THAT LATE PM’s ACTIONS WERE CORRECT.
    So the Govt should FIRST,chase out all dons occupying University quarters.
    Recruit ABLE STAFF FROM WORKING OR RETIRED TEACHERS WHO ARE QULIFIED TO HOLD THOSE POSITIONS,…………

  7. chandrasena Pandithage Says:

    මේ සාකච්ඡා කරන කරුණ ජාතික වශයෙන් ඉතාම වැදගත් කරුණක් බැවින් මේ සම්බන්ධව සාකච්ඡා කරන සෑම සාකච්ඡාමණ්ඩපයකටම අපේද දායකත්වය සපයා මේ වැදගත් මාතෘකාවට පණපෙවීමට අපද වෙර දරන්නෙමු. අද සාකච්ඡාව ආරම්භ කර ඇත්තේ, Garvin Karunaratne වන අතර, මේ සාකච්ඡාවට දායකත්වයන් සපයා nandimitra, Sunil Vijayapala, Dham, Fran Diaz, & jay-ran විවිධ අදහස්ද දක්වමින් ඉතා සාරවත් කරුණු ගනනාවක්ම මතු කොට ඇත. ඒ අතරම සුපුරුදු පරිදි තමන්ගේ දැනුමේ සීමාවට සරිලන පරිදි fortamil ද මේ දායකත්වය සපයා තිබීම සම්බන්ධව අප සතුටු විය යුතුය. මේ සියළුම කරුණු කාරනා දෙස බලන විට, මේ ලිපිය ලියන ලියුම් කරුගේ සිට මේ සම්බන්ධව සාකච්ඡාවට සහභාගි වෙන සියළු දෙනාම ඒකමතිකව පිලි ගන්නා කරුණක් වන්නේ පවතින අධ්‍යාපන ක්‍රමයේ විශාල වරදක් සිදුව ඇති බව පමණක් නොව මෙම වරද සථාපනය කිරීමේදී ජාත්‍යන්තර ආයතන විසින් විශාල කාර්යභාරයක් ඉටුකර ඇති බව අපට මනාව වැටහේ. ේම වැරදි වල පලය වශයෙන් විශ්ව විද්‍යාල ආචාර්ය යන ගෞරවණීය පදවියට නුසුදුසු ආචාර්ය වරු මේ රටතුල බිහිව ඇත. එදා C W W Kannangara මහතා මේ රටට නිදහස් අධ්‍යාපනය හදුන්වා දෙන අවස්ථාවේදී, මෙරට සිටි සමහර දේශපාලකයින් කීවේ “මේ කරන වැඩෙන් සිදුවන්නේ අනාගතයේදී මෙරට පොල් ගසකින් ගෙඩියක් කඩාගන්නවත් මිනිහෙක් නැතිවෙන.” බවයි නමුත් පොල් ගහකින් ගෙඩි කඩන්න උරුමව සිටි මිනසෙකුට නිදහස් අධ්‍යාපනය හරහා විශ්ව විද්‍යාල ආචාර්ය වරයකු වීමට හැකියාවක් ලබාදීමට හැකිනම් කොතරමි වටිනවාද යයි සිතූ ඒ මහතා, මෙරට ජනතාවට නිදහස් අධ්‍යාපනය උරුම කරන ලදී. වර්තමාන විශ්ව ආචාර්ය වැඩ වර්ජනය සිදුවෙන තුරු මෙරට ජනතාව එතරම් බර පතල ලෙස මේ අවුල දුටුවේම නැත. නමුත් විශ්ව විද්‍යාල ආචාර්ය වරුන්නේ වැඩ වර්ජනයත් සමගම ජන මනස තුල, පොල් ගහක ගෙඩියක් කඩා ගන්නට තිබූ අවස්ථාව පමණක් නොව තමන්ගේ විශ්ව විද්‍යාල සමත් වූ දූ දරුවන්ට උගන්වන්නට හිට ආචාර්යවරයාත් නැති වූ බව මනාව වැටහී තිබේ

    දැන් අපට මේ ඇතිවී තිබෙන ගැටළුවට සුපැහැදිලි පිලියමක් අවශ්‍යව තිබේ. වැඩ වර්ජිත ආචාර්යවරු පිලිකුල් සහගත විශ්ව විද්‍යාල ආචාර්ය බව නොපිදිය යුත් කොට්ඨාශයක් බව මෙහි සාකච්ඡා වූ කරුනු වලට අනුව දැනේ. අපට පැනයක් ඇසීමට සිත්දේ, ඒ මේ ආචාර්යවරු හැර වෙනත් ආචාර්යවරු සිටීද? යන්නයි. යම් යම් පන්දම් නොමැති කම නිසා විශ්ව විද්‍යාල ආචාර්යභාව නොලද, සැබෑ ලෙසම දරුවන්ට ඉගැනිවීමට ප්‍රිය කරන ආචාර්ය වරුන් කොපමණක් මේ යාන්ත්‍රණය තුලදී කැපී යන්නට ඇත්ද? ඒ හරහා මතුවූ මේ ආචාර්ය පරපුර මුළු රටටම ශාපයක් වී මෙරට දරුපරපුර ශාප ලද්දන් බවට පත්ව සිටී.මේ ආචාර්යවරුන් ඉවත්ව යන්නේ නැත්නම් පලවා හැරීමට රජයට ශක්තිය තිබිය යුත්ුඅතර, එය යුගයේ ඉතාම වැදගත් කාර්යභාරය බවට පත්ව ඇත

  8. jay-ran Says:

    What SL Govt should do is this:
    1) ISSUE AN ULTIMATUM FOR STRIKING UNIVERSITY TEACHERS TO RETURN TO WORK,
    2) DECLARE A LAST DATE FOR WHO EVER WANTS TO RESUME WORK,
    3) DECLARE THAT UNIVERSITY PREMISESS INCLUDING THE UNIVERSITY QUARTERS ARE OUT OF BOUNDS FOR ANY ON STRIKE,
    4) TERMINATE THE SERVICES OF ALL TEACVHERS WHO DO NOT REPORT BEFORE THE DEAD LINE DATE AND TIME,
    5) CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FROM ALL EDUCATED SRI LANKANS WHO QUALIFY FOR TEACHING AT UNIVERSITIES,
    6) RECRUIT AL SUCH QUALIFIED SRI LANKANS IMMEDIATELY FOR RELEVANT POSTS,
    7) DISMISS ALL WHO DO NOT RESPOND FOR SL Govt’s NOTIFICATION!!!

    Sri Lankan Govt has no other alternative. The reason why I say this is,:
    (1) MY DAUGHTER, WHO IS A SCIENCE GRADUATE WAS APPOINTED AS AN ENGLISH SCIENCE ASSISTANT TEACHER TO A SCHOOL IN NAULA EDUCATIONAL ZONE IN 2005,WHERE THERE WERE NO STUDENTS FOR STUDY IN ENGLISH AND THE PRINCIPAL ASSIGNED HER A GRADE 2 CLASS FOR TEACHING.
    (2) SHE WAS GRANTED A TEMPORARY TRANSFER TO A SCHOOL IN KANDY DUE TO A MEDICAL CONDITION ARISEN AFTER A STILL BIRTH,
    (3) AFTERWARDS,SHE WAS GRANTED 42 DAYS OF MATERNITY LEAVE AND WAS ASKED TO REPORT BACK TO NAULA SCHOOL ON 21-03-2006.
    (4) BUT, SHE REPORTED BACK ON 21-02-2006, ONE MONTH AHESD OF THE SCHEDULED DATE.
    (5) CERTAIN AUDIT OFFICIALS WHO INSPECTED RECORDS OF NAULA SCHOOL, WITHOUT MAKING PROPER INVESTIGATIONS AND CHECKING ALL RECORDS REPORTED TO NAULA ZONAL DIRECTOR EDUCATIN THAT MY DAUGHTER HAD NOT REPORTED BACK TO NAULA ON COMPLETION OF HER MATERNITY LEAVE ON 21-03-2006.
    (6) NAULA ZONAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR,WITHOUT HOLDING PROPER INQUIRY ACCORDING TO GOVT REGULATIONS STOPPED HER SALARY W.E.F. NOVEMBER 2008, AND A CHARGE SHEET DATED 14-11-2008 WAS ISSUED TO HER.
    (7) SHE IMMEDIATELY VISITED NAULA SCHOOL,MET THE PRINCIPAl,OBTAINED A LETTER SHOWING HER SIGNATURE IN THE ATTENDANCE REGISTER ON 20-02-2006,OBTAINED A CERTIFICATE LETTER CONFIRMING HER REPORTING BACK AND SUBMITTED IT TO NAULA ZONAL DIRECTOR.
    (8) IN THE MEANTIME,HER TEMPORARY ASSGNMENT TO KANDY SCHOOL WAS MADE PERMANENT W.E.F. 08-07-2009, DUE TO SHORTAGES OF SUCH TEACHERS AT THE SCHOOL TO TEACH PHYSICS FOR STUDENTS IN A.L.CLASESS.
    (9) BUT UPTO NOW HER SALRY DUE FOR 8 MONTHS HAS NOT BEEN PAID BY NAULA ZONAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR.
    (10) IN MARCH 2010, WHEN I VISITED SRI LANKA, I MADE A VISIT TO NAULA EDUCATION OFFICE IN MARCH 2010 AND SPOKE WITH THE THEN DIRECTOR EDUCATION AND MENTIONED AS TO WHY HER SALARY WAS STOPPED WITHOUT HOLDING A PROPER INVESTIGATION AND AN INQUARY AS ITS AGAINST GOVT REGULATIONS AND I TOO HAVE BEEN A GOVT EMPLOYEE OVER 35 YRS.
    (10) PL GUES THE REPLY OF THIS ZONAL DIRECTOR?
    “”””” I HAD NO OTHER AULTERNATIVE”””””
    “””So, Mr President,
    Minister Of Education Goonawardhana,
    Minister of Higher Education S.B.Dissanayake,
    YOU ALL HAVE NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE, DISMISS ALL THESE DONS AND RECRUIT NEW TEACHERS”””
    as that is the NEW CONCEPT OF GOVT OFFICIALS NOW!!!
    HIS REPLY
    (8) BUT,UPTO NOW HER S
    (7) IN THE MEANTIME,SHE WAS MADE

  9. aloy Says:

    Dr. Garvin,
    It is true that World Bank, IMF etc. have become tools of the affluant nations to exploit the undeveloped (or developing) nations and our leaders follow their advice because they too have their agendas. But most of your write ups are out of touch with the present day reality. You have been trying to take examples from Bangladesh. The situation in that country is quite different from that of ours. It is a country with over hundred million impoverished people, stili increasing at a very fast rate with so mush of unemployment. Our case is quite different. Today we cannot find workers in Colombo area for skilled or unskilled work ( due to the illegal abortions going on for the last 20 to 30 years) and foreing employment.
    The world today is quite different from the days you were a GA under Sirimavo. Her administration was in house keeping mode, completely out of touch with the fast developing outside world. I think the UNP tried to change that by intoducing english schools. If they gave hard earned foreign exchange to these schools it is wrong. This present govrnment also lavishly give foreign exchange for rich people to educate their children overses. I personally know a certain counsultant got over a million Rupees exchange per month for his child’s ecucation in in US and that child is working in US today and not serving Sri Lanka. I too am from the free education system started by C.W.W.Kannangara. But those schools he established are poorly staffed and the University system is hopelessly disorganised that we cannot produce the high quality people we need to interact with the out side world.
    Today, we can get any information we need over the internet at the touch of a button. There is a thing called cloud computing which we can use to get our things done in many spheres like Engineering, Architecture etc., over the internet. Highschool boys in developed countries like UK routinely develop application on their iPhones and test them using this cloud. When can our students reach anywhere near?. I understand our stuents still use mathematical tables at the exams because JVP opposes the use of calculators.
    Perhaps the dons are fighting for funds for modernisation.

  10. Dilrook Says:

    Dr Karunaratne is quite correct.

    It is easy to blame the government for not allocating enough for education. However, what needs to be addressed is why not the government allocate more for education, especially university education.

    There are good reasons for the low allocation. Main reason is it does not benefit the nation as much as it should because of severe disparities in the benefits distribution of free university education and wastage due to brain drain.

    In a democratic open market society resource allocation closely follows the political process. Sinhalese, Muslims and Upcountry Tamils are severely underrepresented in key faculties of medicine, engineering, computer science, commerce. 90% gets only 65% of university opportunities. In other words, the university allocation does not benefit 90% of the population as it should.

    To make matters worse, the 35% Ceylon Tamils who gain are less inclined in serving the country as they more than others migrate. So there is a double whammy on the economy and politics.

    For ease of understanding, imagine there is no government. People will discuss how much of budget to go to univerisities. Then they will certainly ensure they get an equitable share. Otherwise they will not fund it! If a group of 90% gets only 65% of the benefit, they will simply pull out the plug on funds.

    They will also ask, if we finance your medicine degree, will you serve at our hospital? If the answer is no people will say they have better things to do with their money.

    Unless these underlying issues are corrected, it cannot be expected the government will consistently increase the university allocation in an open democratic economy.

    Ethnic composition of key study streams including medicine, engineering, computer science and commerce must reflect national ethnic composition. When this happens, it makes political sense to allocate more funds. The more that is allocated goes equitably to all which makes perfect political sense. resource allocation is a choice which is made based on political negotiation.

    All graduates of taxpayer funded univerisities should be required to serve the nation for a stipulated period of time or pay back. This will also ensure fairness to taxpayers and relieve the financial burden.

    Otherwise it is like pouring into a bucket with a hole.

  11. Dilrook Says:

    After ensuring the above 2 conditions, budget allocation to universities must be increased by many times to reach what it used to be. University lecturers must be compensated better. More research funding should be made available. The number of academics should be increased.

    The increased spend will not go disproportionately to one ethnic group that is more inclined in emmigration but will equitably go to all. The national economy will benefit and voters will give their tick of approval for higher funding which essentially means reduced funding for something else.

  12. Marco Says:

    President Rajapakse keeps reminding us there is no minorities.- All are Sri Lankans!
    I disagree with ethnic based University allocations as i do with ethnic or religious based political parties.
    You cant have one set of ethnic “rules” while disallowing another. Daft!
    All Sri Lankans regardless of ethnicity, language or religion should be able to enjoy the benefits the Govt provides at tax payers expense. I recall (1970’s) i had better grades than my best friend who was a Sinhalese and he got into Peradeniya. We were both from a fee paying school in Colombo outskirts.Thankfully, i had a full scholarship with those same grades at one of the best Universities in England.
    If i was a Tamil (btw- I’am half Tamil) i would question why i should pay 100% of the taxes due when i get only say 20% of the educational benefits? It’s not surprising that most Tamils graduate leave Sri Lankan shores to better themselves.
    Nor do i agree with the “Tamil Leadership Forum” ( a name similar to that)a low profile but highly influential organisation backed by ultra high net worth individuals that educate and sponsors 20-30 highly talented tamil students in world class Universities around the world and then secure jobs via networking at Blue chip companies and International organisation like the IMF, World Bank,etc. Similar to the Jewish Leadership Forum.
    The ulterior purpose is to create individuals with exceptional leadership qualities working for world reknown organisation that could or would influence policy decisions.
    I believe this organisation has been up and running for most part of 8 years with “Tamil” students sponsored to Ivy League universities around the world and found jobs by the Benefactors. As payback each student has to spend a minimum of 12 months in the North of Sri Lanka providing volunteer service to the local community.
    I was discreetly approached by one of the Benefactors to tap an acquaintance of mine who heads a well known Hedge Fund seeking employment to one such student. Naturally, i declined the “invitation” purely based on the principle it was not open to all Sri Lankans.

  13. aloy Says:

    Marco,
    “I recall (1970′s) i had better grades than my best friend who was a Sinhalese and he got into Peradeniya. We were both from a fee paying school in Colombo outskirts.Thankfully, i had a full scholarship with those same grades at one of the best Universities in England.”
    Your above statement is strange. At that time our evaluation system was fair. Did you not question why that happened?.
    Your statement “It’s not surprising that most Tamils graduate leave Sri Lankan shores to better themselves.” is not correct. Given the opportunity anyone will go. The fact is that timils have the organisations like the one you discribed to help tamils. Where as Sinhalese do not have such organistions. Even in the local universities tamil professors, lecturers help tamil students secretly. In my final exam in engineering, the Strenght of Materials paper was set by a tamil professor. I nealy fainted when I got he paper in my hand. The questions were set not on what was taught. Surprisingly some low grade tamil students did very well and they eventually got scholarships for PhD in UK universities. I suppose this sort of things would have resulted in the Z score system which distribute places equitably among students from different regions.
    These discussions are not important to the question at hand. The university students are suffering financially and they have lost time. The Dons are also suffering as they may not have received thei salaries for about two months. I hope the powers that be recognise the importance of the free education system to the country and increase the share from present 1.9%. After all we pay 12.5% service charge tax on all our transactions and that is a lot of money.
    We are far behind in terms of technological developments when compared to the South East Asian region. We do not have to spend lot money on research work by sending our eductional experts on world tours and reinvent wheel. I think we should follow the syllabus of a country like UK for our schools. They include the results of scientific experiments done as recently as five years ago.

  14. Dilrook Says:

    Marco:

    You raised a valid point.

    Why should a Tamil score more marks than a Sinhalese to get into university under an ethnicity based scheme?
    Or why would a Sinhalese score more than a Muslim?
    Or why would a Sinhalese score more than an upcountry Tamil?

    It is the price of equity and fairness.

    If the president sticks to his guns, and UNHRC, India, USA, TNA, accepts this stand, it may be a different story. (But still, equity must be maintained.)

    We all know it is not the case. Power sharing with Tamils is very much on the agenda of the President, the parliament, PSC, UNHRC, etc.

    But your other argument is wrong. Tamils are 12% of the population and hence 12% of the toal tax income is collected from Tamils. For this to remain individual Tamils, Sinhales, Muslims must pay his 100% taxes. If Tamils pay only 50% of individual taxes, it is fair to allocate only 6% (50% of 12%) univerity opportunities. But it is not the case.

    We have a parliament that remarkably represent the ethnic composition of the nation. The Cabinet also reflects it to a great extent. The public service strives to achieve it. So why not the universities.

    Once an ethnicity based admission standardisation scheme is implemented, there will not be much disparity between cut-off marks because a Tamil would not be allowed to deprive another Tamil by cheating by the community. Today there is widespread cheating in Colombo and Kandy (also in correcting papers) among Tamils because they deprive mainly non Tamils by doing so.

  15. Dilrook Says:

    Aloy:

    What you say about migration is not true. Given the opportunity to migrate, the rate of migration is much lower in Muslim and Sinhala communities. This is a fact based on research done on data published by various professional organisations of their membership.

    Sri Lanka can continue to waste 3.5 million rupees each in producing Toronto’s doctors or start investing in doctors in Kabithigollewa, Mulaitivu or Kalmunai.

    If people were making these decisions things would be much more straightforward. No taxpayer will contribute to produce a doctor who would serve in Toronto not in Sri Lanka. If university opportunities will not be equitably distributed, disadvantaged communities will not contribute.

    That is why fairness and equity are at the heart of this problem.

    It is not just about the government allocating (or wasting a few more billion rupees) for continued inequity but about matching the benefits to the cost to the people equitably. Until that happens, no politically savy government in capitalist economic conditions will do it.

    It is like CBK’s PTOMS agreement. 50% of the funds were to go to 3% of the population in LTTE controlled areas and surrounds. People disrupted PTOMS. Who would not?

    Or Ponnambalam’s 50% – 50% demand. Once again equity and fairness disrupted it.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    We agree with Dilrook on his statement : “It is not just about the government allocating (or wasting a few more billion rupees) for continued inequity but about matching the benefits to the cost to the people equitably. Until that happens, no politically savy government in capitalist economic conditions will do it”.

    Since Tamil leaders bandy the word “Tamil” at every turn, it is only fair that Education too carry the same ethnic ‘branding’ and fair play for the rest of Lanka. What a shame ! The emphasis should be to encourage the really good SRI LANKAN (irrespective of ethnicity & religion) student to learn & serve the country, not go rushing off to serve a foreign nation with hot bucks in mind. I might add that Tamil people also flee the Caste system and the Sinhala people may be fleeing the Class system here, though both those anomalies are less obvious in modern times.

    With the Goal of Serving the Nation in mind, we suggest that :

    (1) School curricula must lay emphasis on LOCAL needs.
    (2) Lay emphasis on SELF RELIANCE.
    (3) Lay emphasis on Research & Development and Reward new Research that is of exceptional value, publicly & monetarily.
    (4) It is far better to diversify the Arts degree to more job oriented learning, e.g. agriculture, fisheries, computer science,
    language skills, etc. and also teach Alternative Medicine in the Science Faculty.
    (5) Recognition be given graduates serving Sri Lanka through a special ceremony and giving them a Certificate of Appreciation. To receive such a Certificate, a graduate must serve Sri Lanka in categories of 3-5-10-15 yrs. (Different certificates for different time periods).

    At this point in time, we need to remind the public that even the numerous religion based schools in Sri Lanka such as Catholic & Muslim schools, have their teachers paid from the TAXES collected by GoSL.

  17. aloy Says:

    Correction:
    In my posting on 6th at 5.35pm I mentioned that the government should increase the present share of 1.9%. I undertand presently this share for education is much more than 1.9%. It seems there is ample amount of funds available through National Science Foundation for reserch work using World Bank and ADB funded loans. There are only few takers with tangible reseach projects. Few universities like Kelaniya and Peradeniya do reserch work connected with local industries such as paultry and shrimp farming.

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