The Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association (AFTA), University of Colombo, expresses its serious concern and displeasure on the indefinite closure of the Faculty of Arts for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students and the clear lack of interest on the part of the Vice Chancellor and higher administration to re-open the Faculty for its regular academic activities.
Issuing a statement the AFTA today said; “The reason given for the closure of the Faculty was the students’ opposition to raising hostel fees and admitting female students to an unsafe hostel which was still under construction. It is now two months since the decision to close the Faculty was made in an arbitrary manner without any consultation with the academic staff of the Faculty or the larger student body.
“The Vice Chancellor has totally disregarded several requests made to him by AFTA to give academics of the Faculty an opportunity to discuss problems facing students as well as teachers of the Faculty due to the indefinite closure. It is with sadness that we note that, instead, the Vice Chancellor has entered a path leading to dictatorship, by violating the accepted procedure in appointing student counselors and others which should be done in consultation with the Dean and the Faculty Board concerned.
“AFTA in all seriousness requests that satisfactory solutions be provided to all welfare and hostel related problems of the students and that the Faculty be re-opened for its regular academic activities as soon as possible. It further requests that Vice Chancellor and the higher administration adopt a consultative approach to solve problems facing the Faculty of Arts and refrain from any measures such as closure of the Faculty which are bound to jeopardise the Humanities and Social Science training vital to national development. ”