25 September, 2020

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FUTA Condemns Amendment Made To The University Act By An Extraordinary Gazette

The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) has condemned the latest amendment to the University Act No. 16 pf 1978. FUTA points out that through this amendment, which was published as an amendment to an extraordinary gazette on 31.01.2014 the higher education institutions granting professional degrees in fields such as medicine, engineering, architecture has a discretionary right to obtain a compliance certificate from professional bodies dealing with the respective fields.

 Prof. Carlo Fonseka

Prof. Carlo Fonseka

FUTA points out that in this scenario the Sri Lanka Medical Council which has the mandate to uphold and quality and standards of medical education would not have the power to regulate the content of education that is being offered at these non-state institutions. Interestingly an extra ordinary gazette which was amended had made it mandatory for private institutions to obtain certificates of compliance from professional bodies responsible for the discipline. The amendment to the extraordinary gazette which was issued in January this year has taken out such obligations. This action will severely erode the standards of medical education in Sri Lanka and could eventually compromise the wellbeing of the health sector and the lives of the people of this country.

Read the gazette ; 2013 Amendment and 2014 Amendment

We publish below the FUTA General Secretary’s letter to Prof. Carlo Fonseka;

07.02.2014

Prof. Carlo Fonseka, President,

Sri Lanka Medical Council, 31, Norris Canal road, Colombo 10.

Dear Sir,

Power and Responsibility of Sri Lanka Medical Council to protect the standards of Medical Education

We, representing more than 95% of the members of the academic community of Sri Lankan state universities, are gravely concerned about the recent amendment made to the Universities Act which has specific consequences for medical education.

The amendment made to the University Act no 16 of 1978 by means of Gazette notification published on 31st January 2014 is as follows:

An amendment was made to the section 31 of the RULES made under Section 137 read with Section 70 C and 70 D of the Universities Act, No. 16 of 1978, by the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister assigned the subject of Higher Education being the Specified Authority appointed under Section 70 B of the aforesaid Act.

Previous – Extra ordinary Gazette No. 1824/21 – on 22.08.2013

31. All Non-State Institutes which have been recognized as Degree Awarding Institutes in pursuance to the Report made to the Minister by the Specified Authority under Section 70 C of the Act and which offer study programmes leading to Degrees in Medicine, Engineering, Architecture and other similar professional Degrees shall, obtain compliance certification from the relevant Specified Professional Body and shall submit such certification to the Specified Authority.

Amendment – Extra ordinary Gazette No. 1847/56 – on 31.01. 2014

31. All Non State Institutes recognized as degree awarding Institutes in pursuance to the reports made to the Minister by the Specified Authority under Section 70C of the Act and which offer study programmes leading to Degrees in Medicine, Engineering, Architecture and other similar professional Degrees also may seet* compliance certificates from respective professional bodies.

According to this amendment the pre-requisite of all non state institutes recognized as degree awarding institutes to obtain a compliance certificates from professional bodies has become discretionary. Consequently, the Sri Lanka Medical Council, which has been mandated to uphold the quality and standards of medical education, will no longer have the power to regulate the quality of medical education. It is our view that this is a serious blow to ensuring educational standards within non-state institutions.

It is our firm belief that professional bodies established under acts of parliament for the purpose of setting standards and marinating professional integrity in their respective areas should continue to fulfill their role without obstruction and interference.

We wish to bring to your attention section 19 (e) of the Medical Ordinance. This section clearly denotes that the Medical Council is the body designated to maintain minimum standards of Medical Education including standards relating to courses of study, examinations, staff, equipment, accommodation, training and other facilities at universities and other institutions which grant or confer any qualification which entitles a person to obtain registration under the ordinance. However, this power of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (as well as other professional bodies) has been undermined through the above mentioned amendment to the University Act.

It is worth emphasising that the Medical Council has the power to make representations to the Government on any matter connected with the medical profession in Sri Lanka in accordance with section 12 (3) of the Medical Ordinance. Yet, we believe amendments which have serious consequences for upholding the standards of the medical profession are being made without consultation with the Sri Lanka Medical Council.

Hence, we urge the Sri Lanka Medical Council to seriously consider this matter and to take all necessary and appropriate actions to challenge the said amendment and to protect the standards of medical education in this country. We pledge our fullest support to the Council in this regard as part of our efforts to protect the standards and quality of state education in Sri Lanka.

Thank You, Yours Faithfully,

Dr. Rohan Fernando – General Secretary/FUTA

 *as in the Gazette, probably a printing mistake for ‘seek’. 

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Latest comments

  • 1
    0

    This government when they want to do something they can do it with an extraordinary gazette. But even after five years they cannot provide a just solution to the minority issues, that too after so many commissions!
    mmmmmmmm what is happening here?

    • 0
      0

      NOW THAT THE EXCITEMENT WITH ‘NATIONALISATION’ IS GONE, EXCITED WITH ‘PRIVATISATION’

  • 2
    0

    Now masons will become doctors too.

  • 4
    4

    FUTA must appoint Committee to check how professor positions are given in Sri Lankan Universities to people without PhD and without 15 minimum journal articles in SCOPUS AND ISI level journals.

    You find more than 90% prof positions are fake appointments.

    FUTA does not have any right to oppose to get paid high quality education to anybody because they got low quality free education.

    See all the good Universities are private (Harvard, Ox-Bride …etc)not the public.

    • 2
      2

      I would like to know the source for your statement “more than 90% prof positions are fake appointments” and how you ascertained many faculty positions are without PhD degrees. Are you implying that medical/dental professorships are also given without relevant post graduate degrees?

      How did you assess the quality (low) of free education in Sri Lanka? Are you just speculating that anything free is of low quality? Being a professional graduated from Sri Lanka and had been an academic at Peradeniya, I sailed through my postgraduate studies in the US superior to my western counterparts. I also observe many Sri Lankan medical graduates who arrive in my institution are excellent compared to most locals. I have met many science graduates from SL who are and have completed their PhD degrees and are doing well in spite of their free education.
      Your assumption that private universities are better than state institutions does not hold well in most cases.

      • 2
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        Yes authorities (President appointed Committee) has to re-check all the publications and qualifications of Sri Lankan bogus professors. You will find less than 1% are real international professors. In order to be a professor your PhD must be from top ranking good University and minimum 20 publications in international high impact indexed journal such as ISI,SCOPUS, COMPENDEX..etc. Take Sri Lankan Engineering faculty professors in Sri Lanka Universities over 99% Eng. professors have only publications in IESL un-indexed non-listed two journals and medical same and during last 10 years no medical faculty done any important research in Sri Lanka and they are making money with private practice. Sack them and expose them for eating poor tax payers money covering to wrong title. Another faculties are worse than this. Take Colombo University some Depts. It is a family business sons, sons friends, grandfather, henchmen are the lecturers. All the recruitment for these depts are outdoor connected and sending to grandfather’s friends Universities and getting bogus PhDs. Absurd thing all of them now professors and run few faculties. Take now Sri Lankan University teachers are going to do PhDs to Malaysia, India and Thailand. No one is going to get PhD to these countries. Take Malaysia any body apply get PhD only they only look for money. Many countries are now not accepting this country PhDs. But UGC silent in Sri Lanka. With immediate effect stop and do not promote to do PHD in your own University. It is a joke and wife get PhD from husband’s dept.

    • 0
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      SL Universities are full of rogues, corruption, favourations & malpractices. Its Academic maffia. These people hide behind FUTA nameplate and commit crimes. They pull up their buddys or lovers to Academic Staff while disqualifying highly-qualified candidates. You can find a long list of examples from Peradeniya University. Professors & Deans have made the university their playground. FUTA doesnt talk about these. Come on! Tidy up your room before accusing others of politics & wrongdoings. FUTA, you first address academic maffia!!

      • 0
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        This should long be aware to the many, so long the rogue minister SB has been the responsible person for that ministry.
        Anyway, which ministry you consider is seen as run by all fair manner under the current regime ?

        MR´s reactions are seen to the many, nevertheless people to stay indifferent nodding heads further, is beyond being sick.
        Uni dons should play a greater role in pointing out the good and bad to the highly corrupted ruling bunch. They seem to be napping as many have been made to do so.

  • 2
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    do you guys think he cares, they care or does the University fraternity Care ? everything will be washed down and sent down the drain.. because all academics and those who care ‘FEAR’ for their lives first.
    Gone are the days when words were bold and meaningful and action was feared when protests’ were held.

  • 4
    4

    In Sri Lanka each and every big hospitals can produce medicos. Take Cuba as example. If you have three “S” in bio-stream that is enough to enter medical faculty in many developed countries.

    • 2
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      Foundations of free medical education are being destroyed
      1. Registrar of Srilanka medical council was replaced. Much loved Prof Fonseka is political appointee. He was not an elected member from the profession.
      2. Above discussed medical ordinance was the next hurdle for substandard private medical colleges. This has been changed as well.
      3. Infrastructure in state health sector is stagnating. Human resource planning is in dire straits. Most of the brilliant minds from A/L have left the country or not actively involved in medical education in the past decade.
      4. Medical fraternity in colombo have unusually high number of medical professionals who have studied in private universities.

      I have no hatred against doctors from private medical schools in Srilanka. But there needs to be a level playing field for poor/lower middle class people to compete. I lament that neither the present government nor the medical leaders of srilanka interested in change.

  • 0
    0

    Great accomplishment by the strange bed fellows the Hirumburegama duo and Rajapaksa’s. What else do you want : a VC not qualified and a Banana Phd as the VCUGC Chairperson backed by the ‘ape’ raja of the banana republic! Do you see the affinity of the Raja to the Banana PhD?

    Not only are chairs filled by unsuitable people, some chairs are not filled for years till potential qualified candidates retire and wait for the political goons to walk in!!

  • 0
    0

    FUTA is talking on behalf of SLMC while disregarding the quality of education provided by their own staff. Doctors go an watch TV while patients who need immediate attention is left without necessary care. Why only the GMOA and SLMC want to be very strict on locals with foreign medical degrees, while for any other discipline such a requirement is not being in operation. This is nothing but protectionism to have a better PP and channel practice. When FUTA is always their benefits and easy promotions for its membership is having a double standard when it comes to medical discipline. Will FUTA agree to set up an outside body to assess the quality of the degrees offered by universities and dictate where they should and shouldn’t be offered jobs.

  • 0
    0

    At last the government has a backbone. This should have been done decades ago. Congratulations to GOSL.

    When NCMC was started off in the early 1980s around 20 % of students came from overseas such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. When a SL student paid Rs 100.000 for the course the expat students paid around 5 times more.

    Imagine our students going to Chittagong and Nepal to study medicine !!! Those students should be coming to Colombo to study medicine under our distinguished professors.

  • 1
    0

    FUTA asking Carlo to take action to protect the quality and the standard of education in the country. What a joke! You do you think that this guy enjoying a long ride on the gravy train would dare challenge any move by this regime?

  • 1
    0

    25% cancer hospital patients had lived around the illegal garages more than 10 years. Cancer, headache, skin diseases and disable kids, hearing defects and many more non-curable diseases are happening due to these garages (Harvard medical faculty research on Sri Lanka). But SLMC or any medical faculty in Sri Lanka did not do research or convince authorities about this danger. Same way Kidney problem and due to cancer and kidney issues whole Sri Lankans suffers lot and some villages and residents around these illegal garages will become soon cancer affected people. If you do not have CEA approval and 40 perches and access road around 30 feet and safe zone you cannot operate spray paintings/tinkering/welding garages in residential areas. These garage owners scare the residents and take forcibly letters and some give money and take letters and some are taking letters from relatives living around these illegal garages. Therefore police and corruptive judges this is monthly money making good business. Some police officers take money and protect these garages and getting many benefits from garage owners. Western province these types of thousands garages are operating in high residential areas with help of judges, police and thugs.

  • 1
    0

    Seems like Jayan is doing the thing what Sri Lankan University dons have to do. Jayan in addition to these corruptive people Urban Council, PHIs and Technical Officers make millions out of these illegal garages.

  • 3
    0

    Highest Possible Standards
    ===========================
    Frontiers of medicine are moving at a furious pace. The ultimate beneficiary is the society at large.
    The major pillar of medicine is the physician. The three ingredients that go to produce a physician are the student, the teacher and the content of education. The society has to make sure that these ingredients are of the highest quality.The very thought of making changes that would cause lowering of the standards is sure to cause disatrous consequencies to the society.
    The task is to take the challenge.Raise the bar higher !

    A.A.W.Amarasinghe,M.D., USA.

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