11 August, 2020

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Higher Education In Sri Lanka: School’s Out

By The Economist | Colombo –

An elderly couple sat inside an auto-rickshaw holding a placard with bold red and blue writing: “Don’t mess with our granddaughter’s right to free education”.

The pair, both in their eighties, were among hundreds of protesters who met at Colombo’s Hyde Park on August 23rd to demand a dramatic increase in the government’s education spending. “Darling, I’m nobody,” the old woman said. “But poor people are having trouble getting their kids educated.” And she wanted the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to take note.

Sri Lanka’s state-run universities have been crippled since July 4th, when nearly 5,000 lecturers went on strike to call for a 20% salary increase. The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) said droves of academics were leaving Sri Lanka because of poor wages.

The union’s wish list expanded significantly as negotiations with the government broke down. It now includes a stipulation that the government should increase expenditure on education from the current 1.9% of GDP to 6%. This became the battle cry of a determined—and growing—movement that has rattled the government so much that on August 22nd it shut down all universities indefinitely.

To read the full article in the Economist click here

 

 

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    Ahhhhhh the karma, curse from the students affected by university standardization in 1972…

    STOP BASHING MR, Brits decided Churchill was not the right person for the post-war era, that is how they truly won the war.

    I wonder how many of those in the crowd voted for MR…

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    SF or UNP or JVP or FSP will come to power,FUTA asked they will give written assurance to be increased 6% of GDP for Education in the Island?
    Why don’t FUTA come alliance with powerful political parties ,give political assurance to the public of Sri lankan to common programe of future guideline of Education.
    Is FUTA can give gurantee on behalf of above mention Political Leaders and Parties,After recived such assurance form Leaders, FUTA can work out of seeking mandate from people of island in DEMOCRACIT methods. ELECATED ELEACTION BY VOTE is the best way slove problems ,but not by the gunpoint.
    UNTIL such peroid , FUTA CAN CALL OFF OR WITHDRAW STRIKE IMMERDITE EFFECT IN AN INTEREST OF PEOPLE OF NATION and FUTURE YOUNG GENERATION.
    FUTA ISSUE IN NOT TRADE UNION DEMAND,IS NATIONL POLITICAL ASPRIATION.

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    The Hyde Park rally was very successful – and the show of Police and military strength in Colombo and closure of roads in the area on Thursday showed how worried the regime was!
    Also, starving the academics is not a good idea – “A hungry man is an angry man” (Bob Marley) – and this movement of change and a more equitable and less corrupt and people-centered (rather than white elephant infrastructure) development will probably snowball into something very big..
    FUTA has succeeded in uniting an academy that had been divided and ruled by the regime as never before – this is a huge achievement! The next steps will follow – academics are public intellectuals who are opinion makers and knowledge generators, although the role of the academic as a public intellectual had not been apparent because of the politicization – this seems to be changing with the current FUTA action as well. The demand for the different, less corrupt and more equitable development paradigm is now in the public domain..
    So the jury is out on the Sri Lanka Academic Spring – let’s wait and see!

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    Rajapaksa Government is mismanaging Sri Lanka economy. There is no money to pay for education, healthcare and people’s welfare. But there is plenty of money for guns, bullets, soldiers. In Sri Lanka the militarization is preferred , police state is a norm … plenty of money to build more jails, military camps but there are not enough money for schools, hospitals and childcare.

    Sri Lanka teachers union complained to BBC that Rajapaksa Government wants to militarize the universities. Are the Sri Lanka military want s to militarize the thoughts , the ideas, youngsters minds and the civil society as whole or imprison the thoughts, imprison ideas, imprison freedoms and civil liberties by militarising the universities?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19325358

    God help our education system!! :( :( :(

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    The current strike by the FTUA seems to sabotage the education system in Sri Lanka and create a people struggle in order to unstable the country. This can be proved when look at the pepole who leading this; the President of FTUA Dr. Dewasiri, spokesman Dr Mahin Mendis and supports like Rev. Fr. Chikeara are supporters of LTTE Tamil terrorists. They must be getting handsome payment from Tamil diaspora who are majority is LTTE Terrorists fighting to keep their asylum seeking and refugee status in West and US.

    Government and mindful other university academics and people should not trap with so call campaign taking by FTUA to sake developing of education in Sri Lanka. They are working to damage the image of Sri Lanka and their personal gain.

    Further, SLMC and GMOA boosting that foreign doctors are not qualified and making lots of negligence. However, our experience is that almost all the malpractice and medical negligence in Sri Lanka are being done by members of GMOA and SLMC members. These allegation to foregone qualified doctors by both GMOA and SMCA merely to safe guard their lucrative private practice and privileges that they are enjoying now but nothing towards to the benefit of general public

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    Some European colonial governments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Asia and Africa pursued a policy which had its origins in the belief that denying a people the access to knowledge and means to gain wisdom was key in unfettered control of their destinies at the whim of the colonial powers.

    It was perhaps the British who went one step further and rather than stifle the broadening of peoples’ discretionary capacities,steered them towards an artificially highly valued “British” system of administration,values and lifestyles, that still characterises Sri Lankan attitudes.

    The colonial powers such as Spain,Portugal, France,Germany and Belgium had to use violent repression to contain people’s uprisings (ie from hunger and hopelessness) and cost millions upon millions of innocent lives to sustain,due to the policy of promoting apathy in a dumbed-down society.

    Sri Lankans must strive towards maintaining education as key to advancement,development and ultimate survival if it is to prosper as a viable entity,and not give in to commercial interest or self interest by a small group of elites who do not represent society in general.

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    More than anything,all must demand that university education must be entirely in english.
    To prepare for this, the schools must all switch over to teaching english as a compulsary subject.
    It is the desire of ALL PARENTS to educate their children in english.
    All education must be free upto university.
    If there is political will, this can be done.
    Then, and then only,the nation will progress.

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    People know the collosal waste ,money spent on bidding for Commonwealth games, white elephant ventures like mihin air, Lotus tower ,supposed to be tallest in Asia etc. Corruption is sky high.Average man and woman are not aware that poverty of income is due to corruption of the Govt.This information should be distributed in cartoon form or picture form to capture the eyes of the public in a house to house exercise.Have dialogue forums, group discussions ,training of trainers to carry the message and not mass meetings.

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    Sri Lankan Universties are the world’s most badly governed organizations and it is family and mafia business without any research and quality focus. Recheck qualifications of Lecturers. Some claimed as Economists but not any single Economics degree. Example Colombo University Arts faculty and it is full of disrobed persons (Including Dean Arts) and Grand father to grand childern you find with whole family tree.

    • 0
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      …And I thought we were Asia’s knowledge hub. Damn!!

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