25 May, 2018

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Change Independence Day To Sri Lanka Day; The Day Free Education Scheme Was Passed

By Lacille de Silva

Lacille de Silva

“The spurt in education which propelled Sri Lanka to achieve a high level of social development began even before the country gained independence” It further adds – “Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara who held the portfolio of education during this whole period is one person responsible for initiating a series of educational reforms that created a lasting influence on the history of this country”. (Education First, Ministry of Education).

The ‘Education Ordinance, No. 31 of 1939’ – a comprehensive ordinance covering all aspects of education to lay the foundation for a national system of education, was initially introduced purely on the initiative of the first Minister of Education Minister C.W.W. Kannangara (1931 -1947). This remains the basic law of Education in Sri Lanka to-date. After much debate, steps had been taken by Dr. Kannangara to introduce the Free Education Scheme embracing primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Free education is the sole contributory factor that energized the social upliftment in the country.

The then Indian Government’s representative in Ceylon, who had walked up to the then Minister of Education, Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara, after he was able to get the approval for his Educational Reforms Bill, in the State Council  had said – “Sir, You would be worshiped as a God if you had been in India”. It is time we Sri Lankans start worshipping Kannangara like a God. Kannangara belonged to the old breed of true patriotic national leaders. He was popularly known as the ‘father of free education’. Let me request all of you to call him the ‘Father of the Nation’, who had sacrificed his whole life to give us ‘FREE EDUCATION’. He was virtually  the greatest benefactor, who had committed himself tirelessly for a nation-wide project, based on egalitarian principles to eradicate the unjust system that existed then and to install the free education scheme – “The Pearl of Free Education”. His goal was to ensure a genuine democratisation of education through the provision of equal opportunities for all the children irrespective of social class, economic condition, religion and ethnicity. He had stressed that a curriculum was needed for every child in the country to develop his “head, heart and hands”. Kannangara had emphasised the need to develop (1) Academic knowledge (2) Aesthetic values and (3) Practical skills.

As the Minister-in-charge of Education Dr. Kannangara was responsible for implementation of the following:

1. To make available to all children a good education free of charge, so that education ceases to be a market commodity purchasable only by the affluent;

2. To make the National Languages the media of instruction in place of English so that opportunities of higher education and lucrative employment, which was available only for the urban elite, would be open to all others as well;

3. To rationalise the school system with equity and equality , so that educational provision is efficient and economical and accessible to every child;

4. To ensure that every child is provided with instructions in the religion of his/her parents, and is not taught any other except with the concurrence of the parents;

5. To protect teachers from exploitation by owners/managers of privately owned educational institutions as the profession of teaching had to be accorded with dignity and respect if schools were to be well-staffed with dedicated teachers, and teacher training;

6. To make adequate provision for adult education;

7. Establishment of Central schools (since 1941(1941 3; 1945 – 35; 1950 – 50)) in locations outside major cities to provide high quality secondary education to the rural outstations;

8. Primary schools in every village within 2 miles;

9. Scholarship Scheme with free board and lodging in Central School hostels;

10. Established the University of Ceylon, first fully fledged degree granting university, by the Ceylon University Ordinance 20 of 1942;

11. Upgraded Pirivenas, educational establishments of Buddhist Monks;

12. Increased educational opportunities for girls;

13. Abolished the practice (two tier school system)where English was taught to privileged students and the vernacular language to rural masses and introduced teaching English to the masses. His aim was to provide English Education to the rural poor through Central Schools, without discrimination;

Dr. Kannangara always steadfastly had stood up his grounds, I quote – “……No man should be insensitive to public opinion in discharging a public trust…. I shall do nothing else; not wave one bit. I shall do my duty according to the dictates of my conscience”. Dr. Kannangara had bulldozed his way accordingly to eradicate inequality that existed in the society then. He had only been interested in everything that was beneficial to the people. Owing to this reason, Sri Lanka had been able to achieve the status of a country with one of the highest literacy rates among developing nations as a result of the free education system. This no doubt was a landmark achievement, which opened the door for lower and middle class categories to reach their upward social mobility.

He had delivered the key note address, at the Asiatic Art and Cultural Conference held in Calcutta in 1947, where he had said, I quote – “ ….in spite of the fierce and most dogged opposition from a large and very influential section of the people of my land, in spite of abuse and calumny, vilification and ridicule, I have succeeded in obtaining the sanction of the State Council of Ceylon for a scheme of free education, providing all children of the land equal opportunities to climb to the highest rung of the educational ladder, from the kindergarten to the University, irrespective of the status of financial capacity of their parents and for obtaining for our national languages their rightful place in that scheme as an essential pre-requisite for building up a free, united, independent nation”. But what happened? Corrupt politicos who captured power after independence, began enriching themselves and failed to address issues of further improving the free education scheme, wealth creation, the elimination of poverty etc. Bureaucrats too started behaving opportunistically for their own benefit without executing public policies efficiently and effectively in the interests of the citizens.

Sri Lanka had enjoyed comparatively a higher per capita income and had been among the top three nations in Asia. our neighbours including Singapore has out-performed Sri Lanka. In our country, the corrupt politicos, due to drastic reductions in funding, absence of national education policy, inefficiency and politicization have contributed largely to the destruction of an excellent human capital development system.  We do not have politicians of the calibre of Kannangara, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Sir Razeek Fareed and the like at present.  The absence of such great men, who lack the public spiritedness, in a democratic state, has now deteriorated the country, into a Leviathan State, where law does not operate for intervention. The legislature too has become dysfunctional. They serve themselves at their pleasure opportunistically to redistribute country’s wealth in their own favour. The opportunity made possible by the departure of the British and having gained independence, the present rulers have now begun seeking opportunities to enrich themselves. Aren’t we again in a stranglehold from the so called ‘liberators’?

The successive governments, infested with repressive, opportunistic, immoral, unethical, kleptomaniacal legislators, since 1970s had closed down 14 -2007, 37 – 2008, 103 – 2009 and many more thereafter. It has been revealed that 25.97% schools do not have teachers’ toilets, 26.95% do not have students toilets. Around 20% schools do not have water and electricity. In addition, low salaries paid to teachers in schools and universities have adversely affected the quality of education.

In a study carried out by UNICEF, it has been revealed that drastic reforms are needed currently in our system of education. UNESO has stressed that a minimum 6% should be allocated for education sector from the GDP. It has been identified that the policies between successive governments and even successive ministers had disrupted the system of education, which must be reformed as a matter of urgency since “there is something fundamentally wrong with our present system of education”. It is disheartening that the allocations too are far below the requirements, which had been even below 2% in certain years. Furthermore, it is the belief of citizens, various civil society activists and concerned trade unions that politicians have cut down treasury allocations drastically and do not give priority for the education sector. Unlike Dr. Kannangara, corrupt politicians do not bother to understand the domestic realities, needs, traditions and aspirations. The new breed of politicians that emerged after in independence have disregarded the culture, beliefs and political norms and do not share the same objectives and interests of their predecessors of the calibre of Dr. Kannangara. 

The Presidential Commission on Youth unrest in their report in 1990s had mentioned that youth unrest would be a permanent feature of our society if the restructuring was not carried out in our education system. It had also said – “certain type of ad hoc responses and high degree of bureaucratic lethargy have prevented the education system from responding creatively to the problem of educated youth”. This no doubt was a feature of post-independence political landscape, which has given rise to statism – the  outcome of which is bureaucratic corruption, rent-seeking etc. Finally, statism has raised the operational costs having left ample room to manipulate public policy to enrich themselves at the expense of the citizens. In Third-World democracies bureaucratic corruption is viewed as “outright theft, embezzlement of funds or other appropriation of state property, nepotism, ..abuse of public authority…”.

All these has caused lack of funds, proper planning, ad hoc polices, deterioration of quality in schools and universities, lack of training of teachers, extreme politicization etc. These have caused serious mismatch of education and destroyed Kannangara policies already. It has also shown that a large number of students, around 50% drops out before or after GCE (O/L) examinations, without any formal vocational training or craft skills. University Grants Commission statistics reveal around 80% who are eligible do not have places in higher educational institutions. It has resulted in unemployment. UNICEF has found that more boys stop education than girls. Due to mismatch of education received, we do not produce young men with the skills required in the job market. It has been revealed that owing to these reasons graduates are being employed in other jobs which requires low levels of qualifications. Students who qualify for admissions, having sat the GCE (A/L), which is a very a competitive examination, to enter universities do not get placements and around 10% students only get admissions to universities. Sri Lankan authorities have notoriously deprived higher education to a large number of students. It is a serious crime. Only a limited number from affluent families leave the country for higher studies causing severe outflow of foreign exchange too.

All successive governments have overlooked the need improve the quality and relevance to modernize the education system to align with the changing needs of the emerging markets. Lack of resources and financial constraints are serious drawbacks to increase access to higher education. This has resulted in depriving about 120,000 young men and women annually, who have to abandon their ambitions to enter a university.

In a census carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics, it has been revealed that only around 30% of schools had computers in working order. The computer student ratio is 1:137. Since 1970s, due to increased disparities, the quality of education available to the poor has become drastically low. Another drawback is the inequitable distribution of qualified teachers to disadvantaged rural communities and the shortages of science, maths and English teachers.

It has been observed that the deterioration started setting in, since 1970, due to lack of rudimentary checks and balances, leading to large scale embezzlement and corruption. Politicians began grabbing larger pieces of the social pie without expanding it for the benefit of the citizens. At present, political culture has therefore been twisted by the corrupt politicos for their own benefit. They craftily redistribute their stolen assets to change the political equilibria, for instance, making corrupt more influential as they become richer. In Sri Lanka, corruption has produced extremely rich people.

Besides, due to corruption, educational reforms introduced by Dr. Kannangara has been ruined due to inefficiencies, politicization, mismanagement etc. During the past five decades, Sri Lanka has ended up with a bad political culture, because we have had predatory rulers and bureaucrats who have been closely affiliated to a kleptocratic assemblage .

Shouldn’t we therefore consider doing away with celebrations on the so called INDEPENDENCE DAY. Instead, shouldn’t we now start celebrating the day FREE EDUCATION SCHEME was approved by the British rulers in the State Council?

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    A Visit to Ceylon
    Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel ( 1834-1919)

    According to the census of 1857, twenty-five years since, the whole population of Ceylon amounted only to 1,760,000. By 1871 it had increased to 2,405,000; and at the present day it must be considerably more than 2,500,000. If we take it at two millions and a half in round numbers, at the present day, the different elements may be estimated somewhat as follows:—

    Cinghalese—chiefly Buddhists 1,500,000

    Tamils, or Malahars—chiefly Hindoos 820,000

    Indo-Arabs, or Moormen—chiefly Mohammedans … 150,000

    Mixed races of all kinds 10,000

    Asiatics and Africans—Malays. Chinese, Kaffirs, Negroes 8,000

    Burghers—Portuguese and Dutch half-caste 6,000

    Europeans—mostly English 4,000

    Veddahs—the primitive inhabitants 2,000

    • 4
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      Great piece Lacille, Thanks.

      For a third-world country lacking much resources …… free education and free health-care are great noble achievements ………there is much left to be desired in both to reach a level of satisfaction before we can gloat about them ………but that’s a different shebang………………..

      The free education system has enabled many to escape poverty and inherent entrenched disadvantages ……….and work for self salvation/redemption with one’s own genuine efforts……

      There are many examples of beneficiaries of the Lankan free-education-system all around the world that keep the Lankan flag flying with honour and distinction – irrespective of race/ethnicity/religion ……….. and all the rest of the claptrap………..and one can’t be prouder……….

      “It is time we Sri Lankans start worshipping Kannangara like a God.”

      That’s a little ….. going too far! We must not get into the habit of deifying Lankans……look around, people who are not worthy might just get carried away ………But if you really want someone to deify you can always deify me; I wouldn’t object…………

      The people who serve/served our nation well and instigated programs to benefit all citizens, we carry in our hearts …………..I think that’s the greatest honour!

      PS …..About this Gods and Kings and Rajatuma business…………. there’s an American Irishman (forget his name ….he is the pioneer of duty free shops) …….he has given away all his billions to Educational institutions in Ireland and his only request to the recipients of his largesse is ……….you will receive the money for buildings/programs etc………. until no one knows who the benefactor is…………the day they find out the money will stop …………

      Lacille, feel free to put my name on the next big building you pass ……..and a bit of the “God” business won’t go astray ……..if the gals fall for it………………

  • 3
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    Every school should remember this man and pay homage. True human hero!

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      srinathan.gunaratnam

      If the Education Minister C.W.W. Kannangara is still alive he would be a disappointed man. Though he made sure free education for all, none is being educated. For example don’t you agree with me that you are one of the the best example of failure?

  • 5
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    Many thanks for this beautiful thought!

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      In my humble opinion, “free” education is the cause of all our ills. It is neither free or of consistent quality. It produces mostly ill-educated misfits ,some of whom rule the country.
      Perhaps India is lucky that Kannangara was not born there to be worshipped as a God. The Indian system is not as free as ours, but they produce quality intellectuals ,scientists and engineers. They send rockets to Mars and do medical research. What has “free” Education got us? Even the intellectual class that was present in 1948 has fled, to be replaced with fake Arahats and astrologers.

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        Hello Raman,
        The ills of Sri Lanka was not the fault of the free education. In addition, the misfits you refer to are not necessarily ill-educated. The main fault that led to the current pathetic situation was the language policy of 1956, that got rid of the English education already available in schools. Among other factors that contributed are: limiting streams of education available to students mostly to arts related courses; extremely limited facilities that were available to follow courses in science and related disciplines, particularly restricted to urban areas; strategic mismatch between the expansion of education and the creation of employment opportunities; and non-merit based selection of candidates and promotion of employees in workplaces. According to what I know many people having educated in the island have moved overseas either due to lack of appropriate opportunities; lack of equitable opportunities; or daunting political interference in the conduct of their duties etc. So blaming everything on “free education” is an oversimplification of the complex situation we are in.

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          Dear Lionel,
          In the real world, nothing is free. We could have had a system where DESERVING students got an English education. That was what the Central Colleges were originally intented for. The rest could be educated compulsorily to O level, and the University system could levy fees from those capable of paying. You must remember that our people place no value on anything received free.
          Presently, the restrictions on Science education are basically due to cost constraints.One cannot give away that sort of education free to all comers.
          I know you are sincere when you talk of equitable opportunities, etc. But have you considered what would have happened if , instead of spending zillions on free education (and healthcare) for 70 years, we had invested the same amount on creating employment? Would we have to import masons and carpenters from India and China as at present, because our own youth think such work is below their dignity?
          It may sound callous, but having a number of less educated people is a boost to the economy.

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            Our leaders did whatever possible to create employment too. We had a number of boards corporation and gov’t owned business undertakings too. Think of the plantation sector all that was ruined after 70. And since 1977 it became even worse. We now need a paradigm change. We still could take this country forward if we have the right type of leadership.

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              Dear Lacille,
              I don’t believe that our leaders did all that was necessary to create employment. Most indulged in knee-jerk reactions like the nationalization of Ports/ Transport/ Insurance/ Plantations etc, either for ideological reasons or because the brainwashed people wanted it done. You really can’t call gov’t owned business undertakings “employment creation”.

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          Lionel Bopage

          Can I point out Education has nothing to do with wisdom.
          We might have had educated leaders however none was wiser.

          The leaders took the wrong turnings when presented with opportunities.

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        Our system now is in a mess. It is because of numerous reason s such as neglect, mismanagent, corruption politicisation etc. Our system had been far superior during the first one or two decades after independence. My desi re was to highlight these i ssue so that awareness will be created. Thanks

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          Lacille de Silva

          The system is in a mess because the racist took hold of the governance by lying, cheating, bigotry, …… myth making, parochial politics, …. free rice, …. The system has been in mess since 1956. Nation building process was corrupted in favour of a few, not an inclusive one.

          Just face it the exclusive Pancha Maha Balavegaya messed it up big time.

          The minority Sinhala/Buddhist fascists will continue to mess the state, and the Mahasangha are very satisfied with state of affair as long as reasonable rights are denied to all people. They also vow to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” as long as they are given prominence in every aspect of their life, including where to cremate them after their demise.

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      Dear Prof. Mahesan Niranjan,

      It’s a long time since we had a story from your pen.

      I know that “the mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence like an inconstant wind, awakes to transitory brightness.”

      Your stories are such a lot of fun, and are inspiring!

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    Even Canada and australia doe not celebrate such independance days. Australia is anti-Moarchy too. Why Stupid Sri lanka can not forget colonial mentality eventhough we are supposed to be free of their bondage.

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    In 2018 Budget Speech Minister Mangala Samaraweera has proposed to amend this legislation of 1938 to allow capital to operate freely in the field of education almost killing the essence of Kannangra Reforms.

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    Thanks Lacille, for highlighting the important contribution Minister Dr C W W Kannangara made in the field of education in Sri Lanka.

    Having come from a poor family in Ambalangoda, Dr Kannangara was courageous enough to gain the Foundation scholarship to enter Richmond College, Galle. For him, education was an extremely important investment in the human resources of the country for the sake of safeguarding its future for all its citizens. He fought an extraordinary battle during the forties, dedicating his life to enact the Free Education Scheme, which the current generation of politicians trying to destroy. The country’s appreciation of his contribution was pretty evident when the very people he dedicatedly served did not elect him at the General Elections held in 1947, to represent them. Many progressive policies and measures he wanted to implement were shelved after his electoral defeat. After his re-election in 1952, the elite saw that he did not get any portfolio that would threaten their vested interests.

    Because of the Free Education Scheme, many from the less privileged backgrounds have become public servants, doctors, engineers, accountants, architects, lawyers and judges. Despite massive donations and admission fees, private and international schools, 24 hour rotating private tuition, special privileges for ‘Royal’ schools and political interference working towards the detriment of free education, Sri Lanka is fortunate to still have Dr Kannangara’s free education scheme still providing benefits for the poor. If the civil society and citizens remain passive observers of history, many measures that are currently allowed in the field of education would ultimately lead to the death of free education that Dr Kannangara introduced. (contd …)

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    Irrespective of our cultural and political diversity we need to be sincerely grateful to this true statesman. Despite the most prestigious service he contributed to Sri Lanka and its people, Dr Kannangara died a poor person at 85 years of age, a long-standing politician who did not work to amass wealth or to empower or enrich his family and friends. Nevertheless, he would have died a happy, conscientious and proud person, who could see through his own eyes the results of his outstanding achievement. During his last days he survived on a special grant the state provided. But it was not only the state, but our citizens who were not appreciative; so, no state funeral, no holidays and no gratitude!

    If we had more visionaries and statesman like Dr Kannangara, particularly in the field of economic development, providing better and equitable opportunities for the educated, we could have not lost hundreds of thousands of the country’s educated youth in its post-independent history.

    Dr Kannangara has left a legacy that we all could emulate for the sake of the present and future generations of Sri Lanka.

    • 2
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      Dear Lionel Bopage,

      Thanks for the tribute – its sincerity shines through every word. Thanks also to Lacille de Silva for the main article.

      Having grown up in Bandarawela, even I don’t know much about C.W.W. Kannangara, for all that his mother was a “de Alwis Edrisinha”.

      Yes, we still have much of the infra-structure in place to make free education vibrant again. For an account of the unfortunate situation that has been created for State Education in Uva, please see my extensive comments on this article:

      Shyamon Jayasinghe’s : Uva chief’s Bail-Out Ceremony

      on this website. Today is the last day for comments to be made by readers.
      `-
      Yes, C.W.W. K. was educated at Richmond College, where my great-grand-father taught for 49 years. That was then a private school – handed over to the government in 1962. What would it be like had it not been then handed over?

      The answer implied by me in three articles by me about 18 months ago in CT will surprise you. Please google: Thomian Pharisees

      Yes the times have changed. But we have to know what is happening, and why it is happening.

      I was given many names at baptism. Here are some: Panini de Alwis Edirisinhe.

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      Dear Lionel ayya,

      Please excuse me for calling you Lionel Ayya. You are very correct. As we know there are various shortcomings in the system right now. That is all because successive governments have neglected everything, including education. They do not allocate necessary funds too. It is for that reason I wanted to take this issue up. THANK YOU

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      I agree with you totally.

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    A very good revelation that our generation never heard. Thanks to Mr. CWWK for his great task which today we consume .
    I’ve heard a story that Mr .SWRDB one told him that ‘ Chris what star you doing? You make no one spare to climb a tree for us.’
    Sir, your presentation is elegant. It should be published in your mother language in Sinhala paper for all in Srilanka .
    Best of luck!

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    Absolutely right that we should abandon this annual Independence Day charade that has been perpetuated for far too many years.

    C W W Kannangara was undoubtedly the ‘Father of Free Education’ and will always be revered as such. However, can we have a day of mourning or a day of naming-and-shaming for all the incompetent nincompoops who have contributed to the inexorable downward spiral to the piss-poor free education system that we have today, where bugger-all is taught in school, necessitating hours and hours of tuition classes to remedy the damage.

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      Mr. SK,
      More or less what I had to say on the subject. Neither free nor educational.

  • 1
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    When we celebrate independence we agree that we were under subjugation. If at all we must regret othis day.

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    Yes, we shall consider the day tri-forces annihilate LTTE led by Prabhakaran as Sri Lanka Day.

  • 0
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    Yes, we shall consider the day Sri Lakan tri-forces annihilate LTTE led by Prabhakaran as Sri Lanka Day and the current Independence day shall be scrapped.

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    Sir,
    Independance day is celebrated to commemorate the day of freedom from British rule, won by our country’s great leaders at that time without shedding a drop of blood This can,t be compared or replaced by anything else as you desire. This Great Day in our history has no conection to the subject of free education put in place in SriLanka, in my opinion not valued by the partisipants of higher education with the visible behaviour .For your information Australia is still not a republic and Queen is represented by a Governor general and Australians do honour the Queen.

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      Hello Christine,
      The independence was not won simply because of the country’s great leaders who did not shed a drop of blood, but because of the intensifying anti-colonial struggles for independence throughout the world at the time, and particularly, due to the Indian independence struggle that was led by the likes of Mahathma Gandhi, Subhas Chandrabose and Jawaharlal Nehru. In addition, the British had trained and implanted a pro-colonial local elite in the island, who were following colonial mores and traditions, and were willing to do anything and everything to protect the colonial interests “post-independence”. So independence was “granted on a platter”.

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      Christine,
      This notion that our “great leaders” won our freedom without shedding a drop of blood is a bit of an urban legend. No, my dear, the Indians did all that hard work for us. Our independence was just an afterthought.Free India wouldn’t have done a Goa on this island if the Brits had hung on.
      Look where the Indians were in 1948, and where they are now.

  • 0
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    Free education is good if good education is given free. Although education is given free, the tax payers bear the cost. If good education is given free why almost all students rely on tuition masters. There are instances where teachers employed by the Government to provide free education running tuition classes after working hours. Tuition classes based on charging fees has become a lucrative business. But the JVP guys who make lot of noise about private education do not open their mouths against tuition classes. Why?

    • 0
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      Free education is to provide educational opportunity for the economically disadvantaged. Private tuition can be provided by a member of the family, a friend, or by a tutor. Itisallpart of the desireof parents for their children to do better after all education is the ladder to upward social mobility. Even kids who pay fees and go to private schools also receive private tuition.

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    Yes, Srilankans should celebrate the day the Srilankan triforces annihilated the LTTE and It’s Leader Prabakaran as the ‘ Sri Lanka day’ .

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      NO Christie, NO!

      The defeat of Prabhakaran/LTTE was not a ‘win’ for anybody. If anything it should be a day we all mourn for having let hate between our peoples simmer and fester for so long. We were let down by our politicians from day one, and they encouraged the foolish amongst us to think that any differences could be settled by violence. Not in 1958, not in 1977, not in 1983, and not in all the years to 2009. Our people should hang their heads in shame, and resolve to never go down that miserable old road again.

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        My hats off to you. The war fortunately is over. Hatred does not cease thru hatred. It is an eternal law. Thank you

      • 0
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        Thanks, Spring Koha.

        I’ll try to say a bit more on this.

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    Thank you Mr Silva for a spot on article highlighting our humble beginnings and the visionary thoughts of our leaders even before the transition of power from the British to the Sri Lankans (Ceylon) took place. The mindfulness of our Politicians to put emphasis on education which is accessible to “all” for a brighter future is amazing. It is rather unfortunate we have collectively confused the great intent and made a mockery of the same “the education” that should have saved the nation and elevated us to one of most developed in the world. My father late Mr Thiagarajah (MP for Vaddukottai 1970-1977) started his journey as a teacher in 1943 until 1970 translated this wonderful system by DrCWWK into a successful story at Karainagar Hindu College speaks for itself. My Father would have thanked you too for the timely reminder of DrCWWK. It is time we celebrate and remember all our great visionaries such where our children can take the system/heritage to the next level positively with the required alterations for it to be more effective in the 21st century.

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      Mr. Venugopal. I was very happy to read your comments. As you have very correctly stated, I quote “It is rather unfortunate we have collectively confused the great intent and made a mockery of the same………saved the nation…..and elevated us to one of the most developed in the world “. Let me add, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am very happy you have quoted that your father too was one of the beneficiaries of the system introduced by Dr. C.W.W K. I tried to contact you at least thru the facebook. I was not lucky. If it is possible could you pleaselet me know how I could be in touch with you. I am presently overseas. My email: desilva.lacille@gmail.com Thank you. Lacille

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      Free education was the foundation that needed tireless work by the respective localities/residence/citizens to take this to the next level as part of Nation Building. Using Karainagar Hindu college as an example I say the following how a small school with simple beginnings was made a success story/into a vibrant college as follows – Well wishers of the community get together and built most of the structures over 30 year period working closely with the respective governmental department for guidance and approval. This took care of the funding issues/limitations we had as a developing nation. All the expertise came from the locality as to how to build and run a very disciplined educational institutions complementing the government work. My father was the principle for most of the time and spent 24/7 and stayed focused on the delivery of this project nearly over a 30 year life span along with so many other wonderfully dedicated team of locals. He has at one point took all the roof tiles from our home for the the school roofing will give you an extend of the passion involved. It will also demonstrate the understanding these individuals had with regard to the sacrifices one needed to make such the underfunding issues that existed due to budgetary limitations at the government levels were met/made up as required by the people. No finger pointing/complaining but mindful understanding of the “extend of the scope” involved in nation building exercise. I am sure the same was repeated in many part of our beautiful country since independence. I also acknowledge some areas were more successful than the others may have led to serious grievenses within several communities in our nation. This was in addition to the unjust/unnecessary policy changes in this period with various governments too.

  • 1
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    Fully support Lacille de Silva. Free education has had the greatest impact on Ceylonese (now Lankans).
    There must be a national day dedicated to this.

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    Oh dear, oh dear, remember and keep in mind, there is nothing called free launch, every thing should be paid and some one should pay for everything. When any thing and every thing is free, it tend to loose it’s value, and people value and appreciate it poorly. For all the troubles and commotion in the country, it is the all curse of free culture. Whatever one gets free, the grade and quality of it is very miserable and dirty poor. If one pays, one gets better quality and quantity. The parents and kids wouldn’t same when they pay for it where as free they least bothered, and wouldn’t be able to demand for better and more.

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