17 October, 2017

My SAITM Story

By Sajeeda Darwes

Sajeeda Darwes

I studied at Girls High School Kandy and currently I’m a 4th year medical student at SAITM. I passed my G.C.E Ordinary level exam with 10 A’s. I faced my Advanced Level examination in 2011 from Kandy district and I got an A pass for Chemistry and 2 B passes for Biology and Physics. I missed entry to state medical faculty by 3 ranks (by 0.03 z score) Although my Z score was good enough to enter to a state medical faculty in many other districts, unfortunately, it was not from Kandy district. We underwent several issues regarding complications in the Z-Score that year, as both old and new syllabus students faced the examination. It took more than a year for this issue to be settled and we were given another separate z score. By the time the z score issue was sorted, there wasn’t enough time for me to get prepared for another attempt, as our results came in December 2011 but the z score problem was settled in only by January 2013. That year the intake from Kandy district was less in comparison to previous years even though a court order was given to increase the intake.

My mother saw the passion that I had towards pursuing a career in medicine, because when my father passed away, it was my ultimate purpose to make my father’s dream a reality; which was to see me as a Doctor. After seeing that I had worked so hard, and yet was deprived entry into a state university due to the district quota system she wanted to somehow make that dream a reality.

Its not easy for me being a girl, to go abroad and study also with high expenses. Around this time I heard about SAITM which is approved by University Grants Commission and the ministry of higher education. Neville Fernando teaching hospital was being built by that time. I also consulted a few Doctors and Lecturers regarding SAITM. I talked with some of my friends who were studying abroad and at SAITM. I decided to go ahead with SAITM. I considered it a privilege to be given the opportunity to study in my own country.

I applied for SAITM and I underwent two interviews there, one was by the university and the other one was by University Grant commisson and I also faced the examination held by SAITM in order to grant scholarships to deserving students. I passed that exam which comprised of 4 separate papers comprising of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and I.Q. Which was set in English medium. Even though I had done my studies in Sinhala medium I managed to score well. Over the years I had acquired various certificates for Provincial level and district level competitions including Art, Essay and Oratory,etc.. Considering both my academic and extra curricular activities and my current situation I was offered a half scholarship and I started my medical education at SAITM.

Here at SAITM, we are taught by professors and consultants who are also lectures/or used to lecture at state universities. We are really proud to have the opportunity to be guided under such lecturers. We also undergo Final examinations for each subjects which includes M.C.Q,S.E.Q,OSCE and Viva components.

We undergo clinical training not only at Neville Fernando teaching hospital ,but also at some private hospitals in Colombo district in order ensure a very good clinical exposure and experience. Our senior batches attend the forensic appointment and psychiatry attachment at the Awissawella base hospital and also the Kaduwela M.O.H area in order to complete our community medicine appointment. At the end of each major appointment we undergo an end appoinment viva which is conducted by consultants. We also work really hard as we fully understand the responsibility we have to undertake in the future. Because we too know the importance of human life.

And we too aspire to be quality doctors who are serving this nation.

Contrary to popular belief we are not offered the degree purely for money. We also work very hard to get through our exams and it is not something we take lightly.

It is not a secret that in certain foreign universities students are not allowed to interact with patients and thus their clinical exposure is minimal. Yet they are recognized by the SLMC. But here we are given the opportunity to interact with patients. In fact I have interacted with patients in all 3 languages.

Being a Doctor is not an easy task.

Even the foreign graduates are allowed to do their clinical training at government hospitals. So why not allow us to do our clinical appoinments at government hospitals too. We are following the same syllabus as state medical faculty students. Our Final MBBS exams are held under the scrutiny of an excellent panel of examiners including our own faculty professors and external examiners from state universities. If you all are still not happy with our request, then let us sit for a Standardized unbiased exam so that we can prove to you that we are just as capable as any other medical student. In my case I had to pursue my higher studies in the private sector because of the issue created by the z score. I haven’t done any injustice to anyone by joining SAITM. I wanted to follow my passion in Medicine. Please give a chance to students who miss out on their dream of becoming a doctor by a few marks and to study and serve the country

#MySAITMStory
 #මගේSAITMකතාව

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Latest comments

  • 10
    5

    Dear Sajeeda Darwes

    RE:My SAITM Story

    “I studied at Girls High School Kandy and currently I’m a 4th year medical student at SAITM. I passed my G.C.E Ordinary level exam with 10 A’s. I faced my Advanced Level examination in 2011 from Kandy district and I got an A pass for Chemistry and 2 B passes for Biology and Physics. I missed entry to state medical faculty by 3 ranks (by 0.03 z score) Although my Z score was good enough to enter to a state medical faculty in many other districts, unfortunately, it was not from Kandy district.”

    “Its not easy for me being a girl, to go abroad and study also with high expenses. Around this time I heard about SAITM which is approved by University Grants Commission and the ministry of higher education. Neville Fernando teaching hospital was being built by that time. I also consulted a few Doctors and Lecturers regarding SAITM. I talked with some of my friends who were studying abroad and at SAITM. I decided to go ahead with SAITM. I considered it a privilege to be given the opportunity to study in my own country.”

    There is certainly a need for more medical schools, to serve the populace.

    Unfortunately, the cast-ism of the GMOA and SLMC , the Mafiuoso, is getting in the way. The have no right to block you or any other students. Let the market forces dictate supply and demand.

    There are private hospitals, private schools, why not private universities and private medical schools? int and medical schools ? The people will certainly benefit.

    • 6
      5

      Amare, must you quote her entire story before posting your comments? Life is too short to read all this stuff twice.
      Even your friend Thomas Paine would have refused.

      • 3
        2

        Atticus

        Quoted is the crust of her argument, and Amarasiri agrees with her.

  • 12
    24

    Dear Sajeeda Darwes,

    Yaaaawn!

    A few hours ago I made a resolution and I’m acting on it now.

    I’m definitely not reading any more “dreams” – and I haven’t got back to reading yours again, or the comments.

    I’m not condemning any of the persons or Institutions named by me, but can we have more relevant articles, please. The first article, by Sahini Koralege, was easily the best. It conveyed facts, convictions, emotions, and personal commitment and values. Long. A bit difficult to read because the English was not perfect, but communication was very effective. She had something to say.

    Here’s something written a month ago, on the SAITM issue, by one of the star products of Lyceum International: a twenty-three year old who writes very well: Uditha Devapriya:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/that-saitm-problem-what-to-do-and-what-not-to-do/

    His English is consciously stylish, so it may NOT be very easy for the average reader to understand. Perhaps you should write YOUR current version of it, or may be the students’ response to the issues that he raises.

    When the next “My SAITM Story” appears, I’m going to say “Yawn”, and cut and paste this very answer – which I’d better save on my HDD. Sorry, but that’s how much of a joke this has become!

    Note that I’m NOT attacking you, personally, or trying to denigrate SAITM, which I don’t know much about.

    This campaign of yours has become silly!

    • 28
      11

      Sinhala_Man,

      “This campaign of yours has become silly! “

      Yes indeed , your campaign has become silly ,Sinhala _man , if you are not interested in these “My SAITM story ” series , please stay away ! who has asked you to read them ? frankly nobody gives a monkey’s .. about your one sided version of the story either.there is a growing enthusiasm among the public towards this topic ; thus, we the readership would love to hear the SAITM students version from themselves , who the hell do you think you are to impose restrictions on CT publications ? get a life mate .

    • 26
      6

      Freedom of expression. If you think it is silly, then that is your prerogative. These students are trying to express themselves and in a very peaceful and passive manner. They want their voices heard. They want their side of the story told.

      Nobody is forcing you to read these articles/letters regarding SAITM. I guess you would prefer to see them protesting on the roads every other week like our wonderful IUSF crowd?

      • 9
        2

        Dear Thanos,

        I’ve read this comment of yours, and Amarasiri’s. I’d glanced at Sajeeda Darwes’ only long enough to ascertain that there’s nothing really new in her arguments: basically, the article seems to follow the same pattern.

        Since I haven’t read carefully, I may have missed something that actually IS new. That would be unfortunate. Yes, I may not read at all the next few articles: that’s what meaningless re-hashes has achieved with ME.

        Just see what a lot of carefully thought out comments I have put on in response to the first comment by Sahini Koralage. I remember the name well enough because I addressed her that way each time, until she began calling herself “SK” – after which I began using that form myself.

        I have no desire to personally insult Ms Sajeeda Darwes. For that reason, I looked carefully at her name, and made sure that I got it right. I don’t think that I will read all the other comments.

        LASTLY, yes, I AGREE with you that this is less harmful, less of a nuisance, than the IUSF disrupting traffic etc. I haven’t yet encountered that problem since I’m still in my village. Those IUSF guys think even less – they just shout at everything that allows others who missed getting sufficiently good grades FOR THEIR REGION of the country to proceed to a State University. Protesting like this, instead of studying seriously, will also ruin those Universities.

    • 5
      5

      Anyone didnt force you to read articles..dont prove your madness infront of public this way..

    • 6
      6

      Sinhala_Man

      Did the GMOA, SLMC, Mafiso approach you and pay you not to read articles on SAITM?

      Are the articles on SAITM, on the GMOA, SLMC, Mafiso index, the List of Banned articles, just like the Catholic Church did with the Index of Prohibited Books?

      The GMOA, SLMC, Mafiso, already bribed JVP, so that they continue their cast-ism.

      The GMOA, SLMC, Mafiso is going against market forces of supply sand demand, and the country and people are losing.

      Unfortunately, the cast-ism of the GMOA and SLMC , the Mafioso, is getting in the way. They have no right to block students getting an education, medical or otherwise. Let the market forces dictate supply and demand.

      • 10
        1

        Dear Amarasiri,

        I know that there is sound reason for what you say about allowing ALL to have education, and so forth. My comment was one that I had decided upon before this last one appeared at all.

        What I have put on is a rehash of what I had already posted on the previous comment. Many are continuing to read each description of these kids. I don’t think it good strategy on the part of those who are co-ordinating this campaign. And the campaign has to be co-ordinated.

        I did not really READ this last comment; just skimmed sufficiently to see they are themselves keeping to a strategy that they had decided upon about a week ago, may be.

        My strategy was thought out only 24 hours ago; I’m not reading anything more that is so stereotyped.

        Good luck to the kids’ campaign – and I do hope any rough edges of the SAITM scheme are sand-papered, so that a useful scheme emerges. For now, that’s where I stand. I just don’t have the time to go on reading predictable self-portraits.

        • 15
          0

          Sinhala man,
          I agree with most of what you say. This IS a co-ordinated campaign, and intelligent people should be able to see that.
          Let me make clear here and now, to forestall any brickbats, that I am all for SAITM and any other private universities. I don’t think there is anything morally wrong in people using their own money to educate their children.
          As you say, when one has read two of these contributions by SAITM students, the rest are pretty predictable.
          As I myself commented earlier, there seem to be a lot of female Muslim students at SAITM !
          Perhaps only they are capable of even this minimum English competence?

          • 10
            0

            old codger

            “As I myself commented earlier, there seem to be a lot of female Muslim students at SAITM ! “

            “Perhaps only they are capable of even this minimum English competence?”

            Interesting observation. Perhaps the reasons are:

            1. Many Muslim students go to international schools, and the medium of instruction is English, and they do not take the local O/L and A/L, and take the London O/L and London A/L. Why? This ii the the mess up done by the politicians and the educational system these students were subjected to.

            2..Still there are other non-Muslim students who also go to international schools and some students who went international schools abroad when their parents were abroad, and studies in the English medium, who are Sri Lankan citizens.

            Why should these students be penalized and treated as aliens in their own country, and excluded?

            3. Another question is why a preponderance of female students? What happened to the male students? Agree that the sample size is small, and not statistically, valid, and it gives a clue.

            The parents do not want their daughters to leave the country, perhaps especially so with Muslim patents. The female students are more motivated than the male students in becoming doctors. After all, all the nurses are females, and most female students end up being mothers.

          • 11
            0

            Dear Amarasiri,

            As I think you realise well enough, I’ve always been fighting racism, and the moment we start talking about “this community” and “that community” we are indulging in a form of racism. However, with most people putting such badges on themselves, it becomes necessary to ourselves acknowledge the thinking on these lines.

            Never mind SWRD Banda; he did what was necessary to push the UNP out of power in 1956 – and he paid the supreme penalty for his manipulation of voters. However, thereafter it was the Sinhalese public who were not able to effectively analyse the situation after Badi-ud-deen-Mohamed became Minister of Education. The Sinhalese demanded the ending of the English Medium in schools for Tamils and Sinhalese. The last batch allowed to sit the O. Levels in English was in 1964 (we’re talking about what began to happen before J.R. Jayawardena began to control events in 1977).

            Thereafter it was supposed to be “Mother Tongue” Education for more than a decade (overlapping with J.R.J. changes). The Sinhalese didn’t seem to mind that “Burghers”and “Muslims” should have “English Medium” education in schools. So, as in most other matters as well, we, the Sinhalese, are to blame.

            And now there is clearly to be seen a “class aspect” as well to this possession of English. Everybody wants the language now, but none of us has been able to devise a system for teaching it to at least a sizeable proportion of those families who’ve NEVER had English. I say it as one of the guilty! Teaching English has been my sole profession for more than forty years.

            Now that I’ve made that confession, dear Amarasiri, will you consider forgiving me?

            • 10
              0

              Dear Sinhala_Man,

              “Now that I’ve made that confession, dear Amarasiri, will you consider forgiving me?”

              Thank you for your confession, and no indulgences are need. You are forgiven.

              • 7
                0

                Dear Amarasiri,

                Your forgiveness has made my day (but then the day the Lord had granted has almost ended!).

                So, you don’t demand indulgences – that, of course, was one of the main things that Martin Luther protested about!

                Thanks for your generosity!

                • 4
                  0

                  Sinhala_Man

                  Perhaps we can all celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s indulgences busting reformation on October 31, 2017, and the the 95 Theses.

                  “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” also known as “The 95 Theses,” a list of questions and propositions for debate. Popular legend has it that on October 31, 1517 Luther defiantly nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church.

                  Perhaps we can all nail these indulgences theses to the Doors of the GMOA and SLMC on SAITIM.

                  PS. The Earth spins on it’s own axis and orbits the Sun

                  • 2
                    0

                    We imagined all sorts of strange things happening when we first heard, as school children, of Luther burning the “Papal Bull”!

                    Yes let’s celebrate the half millennium!

    • 6
      3

      Sihala Man, “Yaaaawn!”

      If it is so boring, why did you read it and commented.

      So, you hypocrite, it’s a very interesting read after all!

      • 8
        0

        Goraka,

        Good that you seem to be standing up for the rights of this kid.

        My memory of you is as an MCP who didn’t want to give ANY freedom to Muslim women – yourself seeming to be a Muslim man.

        As I’ve said already in my responses to others, and in my original comment which has been so offensive to most (I’m assessing that by the number of thumbs down) I’ve nto REALLY read this one carefully.

        I hope I’ve not made too many wrong surmises. I really think that these kids are self-destructing. I may be wrong, obviously.

        • 4
          3

          Sinhala Man, in addition to being an hypocrite, you are a bigot too. Here is why?

          When we are discussing about SAITM, you are trying to muddy the water by discussing about Muslims. No where in my defence of SAITM have I mentioned religion.

          That’s what wrong with our Sri Lankans. Distract, act dumb, or insult when you cannot argue a case.

          Get an education.

          • 6
            2

            Dear Goraka,

            You say different things at different times. I have no time right NOW to hunt for the MCP things that you have said.

            We have to read intelligently, and make cross references; else the supposed cures will actually worsen the malady.

          • 9
            0

            Dear Goraka,

            This is one of your comments on March 3, 2017 at 3:18 am on this story:

            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/muslim-feminists-anti-reformists-the-mmda-the-ground-realities/

            “Sabra Zahid, you must be mighty proud of all the muslim-bashing and open prejudices towards Islam that you envisaged would happen when you undertook to write this piece. It might not be your intention, but it certainly looks like it.

            It would be more courageous, if you have taken your concerns to the “backward” Muslims and explain what is wrong with the law.”

            I’ve given this matter some thought. You have not supported the cause espoused by some Muslim ladies, but your comments are NOT among the worst. Muslim-bashing is all too common, most notoriously by Donald Trump. There is some justification for your getting irritated by it. I’ve re-thought some of my own knee-jerk responses in that article. You are not one of the nastiest Muslim men attacking the writer, and there may be some justification for you to resent my comment above.

            I am conscious of treading on dangerous ground when discussing the religious beliefs of others. As a result of looking for something really nasty that you have said, and failing to find any of the absolute control freak comments by you, I think it only fair to apologise for attacking you so strongly.

            Also, it is good to see that the girl brought up in the Seychelles has adopted a slightly different format for her comments. With people who have lived in such exotic places, SAITM must certainly be an interesting place to be in.

            Goraka
            March 3, 2017 at 3:18 am

    • 8
      3

      Please note the many inconsistencies within this article, because this was essentially a cut and paste of a comment which was made in relation to an earlier one which was written by someone who had studied at Lyceum International.

      I made a few changes at the top, and put it in.

      Please don’t ask me to now track down that earlier comment: could be done, but I don’t think that it’s worth doing.

      • 3
        0

        Correction:

        “Please note the many inconsistencies within this COMMENT” – not article.

        Good night to all!

    • 12
      0

      Dear “Friends whom I have appalled”,

      I HAVE tracked down my earlier comment:

      Owing to the word limit, I’d better trim the stuff in the middle; that may ALSO allow me to show you what I was responding to:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/my-saitm-story-5/comment-page-1/#comments

      Sinhala_Man
      March 15, 2017 at 8:07 am
      Reply

      Dear Vinu Grero,

      “jim softy” and I don’t usually agree, but we do on this.

      If you students want to write any more change at least the caption of your “story”. By now you are seriously damaging your cause by sending us this stereotyped stuff.

      You may each have decided to get your “Story” ready; fine! That does not mean that you should send it for public viewing. You are almost, by now, giving us the impression that this has been organised by the management of SAITM.

      If you really want to give us more, then the public should be shown how SAITM counters stories like these:

      http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=161883

      . . .

      There’s little point in translating in to Tamil, since very few will bother to read it; they have a more real problem related to the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor for Jaffna University. Few Sinhalese are even aware of what is going on there. It would actually be in your interest to get some of those things translated in to Sinhala and published – even on Colombo Telegraph.

      You are now actually spoiling your case!
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
      I was responding to “jim softy” who had said on March 15, 2017 at 2:52 am:

      “It is not good to publish any more articles as it is the same story telling over and over again.”

  • 21
    6

    “Even the foreign graduates are allowed to do their clinical training at government hospitals. So why not allow us to do our clinical appoinments at government hospitals too.”

    JEALOUSLY.

    Give private medical schools a chance and see how they will do better than free-loaders, strike-loving govt. universities.

    The public is behind SAITM.

    • 4
      6

      because foreign students are having brain to sit an exam when they complete their degree. these rich idiots in SAITM want to become doctor without an exam by just throwing money

      • 6
        2

        Dont say facts just because ypu can use words.SAITM students are not getting degree just becauae of money.Their standard is higher than those foreign universities.

      • 5
        0

        Read carefully all the exams she went through and the complete SAITM way of teaching and exams of a high standard. You don’t seem to know that cant be bought with money. Since you are so obsessed with money, find out what the foreign students paid out there and also what they pais after return to the local examiners fleecing them

      • 6
        0

        Silva, “because foreign students are having brain to sit an exam when they complete their degree. these rich idiots in SAITM want to become doctor without an exam by just throwing money”

        Did you read the letters from these students and the qualifications before you made these stupid remarks. Now, I understand why Sri Lankans are so backward in their thinking.

        And, did you hear the latest – 94 MPs does not even have O/L out of a total of 225.

        No wonder you are pooh poohing these young students’ qualifications.

      • 0
        0

        Yes, the EPRM (formerly ACT 16), not the SAITM exams or the foreign university exams

      • 0
        0

        silva

        “:these rich idiots in SAITM want to become doctor without an exam by just throwing money”

        Make everybody take intelligence and critical thinking skills tests, in addition knowledge and competency in the subject.tests.

        There can be many surprises here.

        After all years later, it is their intelligence and critical thinking skulls that prevails, and helps to treat the patients better.

        Remember that the national average IQ for Sri Lanka is 79.

    • 0
      0

      Guess you dont know the difference between jaelousy and human rights.

  • 16
    0

    Dear Sajeeda

    How sad that you and your colleagues have become innocent victims of this god-forsaken political driven imbroglio.

    Put the blame on the many who were entrusted with our (free!!!) higher education in Sri Lanka.

    You all should never have been put in this position.

    I hope that your situation is resolved satisfactorily, and wish you all success in your careers.

  • 2
    1

    Does UGC interview applicants for courses in universities.
    If so, they would have a gigantic task.
    Are such interviews a part of their work/duty – I thought they evaluate universities as a whole.
    Anyone????

    • 10
      1

      You thought wrong. You have no clue what evaluation is. UGC interview SAITM is like Z score, so no mistakes on entry. This article shows a lot of SAITM teaching and evaluation which the ignorant public like you only shout about. There is a lot more to SAITM and there is a lot more to that idiotic z score which delays and needs to be scrapped. Good to read understand and then comment, not screeching like mad dogs on a full moon night. Brains must be used. This girl, Sinhala educated gives an excellent picture in English about training in SAITM, which fools call substandard. These accounts are genuine

      • 2
        2

        NIM,
        The student says that she went for interviews at the “university” – she means SAITM, and UGC.
        These interviews were for what else?

        Her “picture” has no content.
        Did she deliver babies, did she assist at post-mortems, were there osteology, histology tutorials, did she do biochemistry practicals,
        did she commence pre-clinicals after one year, did she dissect a body for two hours Monday to Friday for 15 months, did she write up discussions on medical, surgical, obstetric & gynaecology patients, did she do minimum two weeks clerking in ENT, Eye Psychiatry departments for two weeks each, did she dissect the brain in neurology practicals, did she do public health care of families in the vicinity for a month and write up a field book, did she attend/assist in surgical operations – thoracic, abdominal, cranial & others, did she do anaesthesia training in the theatre for two weeks, did she attend/assist in casualty/emergency, did she learn to pass catheters, cannulas etc.
        Else she is not fully trained.

        • 0
          0

          Interviews were for entry approval for 1st few batches, to avoid false accusations. Now no teething trouble. Clinicals are flexibly interwoven according to the approved curriculum covering all needs. Minimum 2 weeks or monthly appointments have no specific order. Anaesthesia, casualties etc are not handled by students, they simply observe and some don’t see clearly what is going on. Some not understand or able talk language and many difficulties for all students. They do the best they are capable of. Nothing to gloat about Anyway she hasn’t completed and arrogant writer is thankfuly not her examiner. Assist at postmortems is the height of the ridiculous. They should be lucky to see the organs at least, like the Thajudeen bones the IUSF adore. Can justice deliver a baby in a plane. I doubt it. Better have humble attitude.

  • 11
    1

    Your story proves some jealousy from the old boys club who does not want to lose their prestige.

    • 0
      0

      You dont know the meaning of jaelousy

  • 6
    9

    We are not against private institution. Why you guys are hesitate to attend the Medical council’s exam? Like foreign graduates, you should pass the medical council’s final exam and begin to practice.

    • 16
      2

      AK ,

      Educate yourself about the facts mate, SAITM and its students have agreed to sit for the ACT-16 exam . only the selfish GMOA /SLMC mafia clan opposing it.

      • 2
        0

        Where have they agreed to sit for Act 16? Please give an official statement by SAITM. In fact the newpaper advertisements for SAITM clearly state the students need NOT to sit for Act 16 so come and join us!

  • 6
    4

    Sajeeda Darwes’s story is just one of hundreds if not thousands that aggrieved students have related and continue to narrate in closed circles. This miserable tale started in 1972, with the most unconscionable relegation of principally Tamils,Muslims and other minorities from merit in selection to Universities.

    This grave injustice camouflaged as STANDARDIZATION has gone through several versions for 44 years. The latest AVATAR is Z-Score. Whatever the name, discrimination is the substance. Tamils resisted and are now in better climes outside the country. Muslims have swum with the enemy and are well set within the country though uneasily as of late. 1972 gave teeth to the Tigers. Muslims are beginning to cut their teeth.

    What a devious way one community in Sri Lanka devised to equalize and then to go ahead of all other communities. It is still not satisfied with TWO generations of gross injustice. Having blocked the path, it continues to close even the escape routes of the minorities. SAITM episodes contrived by the majority in the country and in the GMOA, epitomize crass insensibility coupled to insensitivity.

    • 1
      0

      LOL…what a load of sh1t as always.
      The so called devil, stanardisation was given up in 1974. And what we have is an Z score where students from North and East are at advantage. And it does not depend on the medium of language.

  • 10
    11

    Pardon me, but are there only good looking young Muslim ladies studying medicine at SAITM?
    Is this a case for Ven.Gandasara to investigate?

    • 8
      7

      Of course it is. Only the monied can go to SITEM (with three Ss). And they are the ony ones who can afford it.

      Wake up people. Seereality.

      • 2
        0

        Sorry to say that you dont knw minimum requirement at Saitm.they have published it.And do you think in stTe faculties there are no students with low results according to district quota.those students study at cities but write exam in village and enter medical faculty

    • 6
      0

      Please note that “old codger’s” remarks have never been racist. I don’t know him, but I haven’t guarded my identity at all, so many regular readers actually know my name and contact details. So “old codger” probably know him.

      Note also that he refers to Gnanasara as Gandasare – translated it means stinking guy.

      Much racism comes from knee jerk reactions – that’s how this, too, could precipitate another problem.

      Right now almost nobody is committed to really solve the problems of the country. All want to go to Australia.

      An intelligent and liberal Muslim who is a foreigner, told me yesterday that the Sinhalese are laid back and few know much English. They will go to Aust, knowing that they can return here because they are convinced that this land belongs to them. The Tamils will go there and really WORK in the new country – they feel that they have no future here. THE Muslims have been savvy on this language thing. The trend among them is to abandon their native Tamil, acquire some Sinhalese, but study in English.

      I don’t like dividing ourselves in to communities. But that’s being done by others. So, my friend’s comment was pertinent: he feels that if you take Sri Lanka community-wise, the Muslims now have the best English.

      This could lead to fresh problems is what “old codger” seems to be saying – without spelling it out in the detail that I have. Fifty years ago, the Jaffna Tamils were the “most educated” group. Think for yourself the consequences.

      IF EVER THERE IS POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION, THERE WILL BE “RESOURCEFUL” GUYS WHO CHEAT. Work that out, please. I may look out for a response to this, and explain myself.

      • 5
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        Sinhala Man,
        No, my remark was not intended to be racist, though some have taken it that way. That’s why I referred to “Gandasara”. Just pointing out that a lot of the young authors are Muslim and female.
        I believe a boy has appeared today.

        • 4
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          Something is terribly wrong with this country and the Sinhala majority. In the 1950s some Sinhala political leaders conspired if they appeal to the largest number they can unethically capture power. That was a time the country was a United Nation, thanks to the British acting in pursuit of their own parochial gains. Language and religious disharmony was hardly a factor then. The process of law and justice worked well and to the interest of all citizens. 1956 opened the flood gates. The talented, peaceful and law-abiding Burgherswere made to take flight against their wishes. The Indian Tamil workers, on whose blood, tears and sweat the lucrative Plantation economy was built were denied their voting rights they were already enjoying. Our better-than-average standard of English was brought down – yes, unwittingly. With the passage of time the process of entry into the University was politicised to favour the majority. This made some Tamil youth to take to arms.

          Reading the pleas of talented and well meaning students of SAITM is deeply troubling. Why should these students appeal to the country pleading their case. SAITM was established and run under the laws of the land. Why did it suddenly become a contentious issue. Dr. Neville Fernando made a fortune through his business acumen – in running a Ceramic industry, flower-export business, a large Hospital and many other. He could have enjoyed his retirement in splendour and riches. But this decent, soft-speaking, ex-MP wanted to help his country and the young educated with a 1st class private medical school at a time when most Universities have become hot bed of ragging, politics and violence. There is no reason to vilify and torment him. It is clear beyond any doubt religion and politics – a lethal combination – has made ours a sick and failed society as they have in Iran, Pakistan and many countries. The worst offender here is the politicised Buddhist priesthood now openly out for political power.

          The decent majority Buddhists in the country are held captive by power-crazed men. They are helpless and are praying for divine intervention.

          Pandaranayagam

      • 3
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        POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION:

        For the poor (and I’m poor, but not so indigent that I need be given special benefits!):

        Electricity: In my Uva house I have all the gadgetry, but I live alone there for about half the month. I get away with monthly bills of less than Rs 300/=. If you consume LESS than 2 units per day, the rate at which you are charged is really low. This is way beyond production cost (which is driven up in Sri lanka owing to inefficiency and corruption).

        It’s the same story with CHARGES for water, but you really wouldn’t believe how little water is sent to us by the Water Board. Once in 15 days they send us water for a whole 24 hours. Those who have invested in a great deal of storage (I haven’t) can manage; most middle class homes in the area have storage capacity exceeding 10,000 litres – 20K is not uncommon! But what happens to the poorest of the poor? Nobody cares. Of course, we have MUCH more rain than the average human being on Planet Earth. No harvesting of rain water. My far-thinking father died in 1963. He had obtained a permit for a well 400 yards away (and elevation 200 feet lower), and we pumped up water. the system was DELIBERATELY neglected by my 6 siblings when the Water Board began supplying. Now pipe lines cannot be laid because squatters have encroached everywhere. They are politically influential thugs, I’m not. As for my siblings, they are extremely wealthy – half of them wealthy even in the “White Countries” that they are citizens of. They don’t even understand our plight.

        Samurdhi and such things must be the same story.

        Now for the subject at hand: the most disadvantaged DO need to be helped. The fact that SOME Colombians sit A. Levels in remote areas – i.e. cheat, doesn’t change that. But again, if you want to think of the most disadvantaged you’ll find them among the Tamils on the estates. I’ve visited their schools (and occasionally line rooms), so I know. What is most chilling is that it is not felt that they deserve any better.

        More later: no simple answers!

      • 1
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        POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION:

        PRO-POOR: (and I’m poor, although not the “poorest of the poor”:

        Electricity:

        If you consume less than 2 units per day over the month, bills are really very low. I’m usually alone in my Uva home for more than half the month. I have all the the gadgetry possible, and I use them. My bills are less than Rs 300/=.

        WATER: Same story regarding charges, but few outside our area know how little water we get. Once in 15 days, even if there is plenty of rain, for “technical reasons” related to the supply pipes. But then we get water for 24 hours. Those who can, invest in lots of storage (I haven’t). Ten thousand liters is average for middle class households; 20K is not uncommon.

        Of course it’s our own fault! We have much more rain (even in the Dry Zone of the Hill Country) than the average human being on Planet Earth. No harvesting of rain water. My far-seeing father who passed away in 1963, had obtained a permit for a well 400 yards away, and 200 feet lower in elevation, from our houses. DELIBERATELY neglected once the Water Board began supplying, by my siblings(all wealthy), half of whom are considered wealthy even in the “white countries” they are citizens of. They don’t even understand that we have a problem.

        Schemes like Samurdhi must be the same story.

        Now to Education. The fact that Colombians cheat by sitting outstations doesn’t negate the need to help the disadvantaged. But the most disadvantaged are the Tamils on the estates, and nobody even considers them worthy of “equal opportunity”. I’ve visited quite a few of those schools and even some of the line rooms. Of course, no point throwing pearls before swine – for various reasons just throwing charity at people won’t work because they don’t know how to use the benefits extended to them. And we want NOT levelling down, but levelling up. Also remember, much of our “development” only leads to degradation of the environment.

        More later. Terribly complex :no simple solutions.

  • 7
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    The difference between SAITM and state University students is the cultural gap the same apples to most GMOA doctors as well.
    The street demonstrations are sponsored financed and organised by the GMOA and other political opposition groups.
    It is verry infortunate that students fall prey to elements with ulterior motives

    • 7
      1

      They don’t fall prey! They are forced into those protests. If any of them do not participate in protests organized by the IUSF, those students face severe consequences.

      Over 15 years ago, My uncle was a dean at the Sabaragamuwa University. He had installed spies within the university including ex-military personnel to monitor IUSF activities. Did you know the girls were threatened with gang-rape by IUSF thugs if they did not participate in IUSF organized events?! I bluntly asked him why he hasn’t done anything about this? At the time he said it was not possible to take that evidence to court. Personally I do not understand the legal intricacies but it seems they needed the cooperation of the victimized girls but they were simply too afraid to come forward.

      Now university security has improved somewhat and students are more aware of their rights within the law and that is possibly why in some universities the IUSF has external torture chambers.

      In my humble opinion the IUSF is not a students union but terrorist organization.

      • 5
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        You’re right, about how student unions tend to operate in our country.

        Myself at Peradeniya years ago: I didn’t blanket boycott all protests. I decided what I was going to do.

        It isn’t easy.

        “Thanos”, I’m sure both your uncle and you must have been uneasy about the tactics that your Uncle himself had to adopt.

        It is very difficult to fight cleanly, when the other side is using dirty strategy.

        Solution: I don’t have one!

  • 6
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    Dear Ms. Sajeeda Darwes

    RE: My SAITM Story

    ” I passed that exam which comprised of 4 separate papers comprising of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and I.Q. Which was set in English medium.”

    “Even the foreign graduates are allowed to do their clinical training at government hospitals. So why not allow us to do our clinical appoinments at government hospitals too. We are following the same syllabus as state medical faculty students.”

    Thanks for your write up of your story. We all have empathy for you, your colleagues and all those who are trying to make SAITIM, viable and successful. The people of Sri Lanka, can certainly benefit.

    A lot of people have paid the price, and still paying the price for the messes created since independence.

    However, you are battling the entrenched Casi-ism and Hegemony of SLMC and GMOA Mafioso Unfortunately the people and the students who could not get into medical schools ate missing out.

    .Expose, Expose and expose the GMOA and SLMC cast-ism and their own self-interest at the expense [of the others, especially the poor.

  • 8
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    My SAITM Story

    Sad to hear
    But an eye opener to the GMOA/SLMC

  • 13
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    I know this student very well. My daughter studies at the same school. She has been a promising student from the beginning and her ambition was to become a doctor, hence she worked hard and obtained good results for advanced level examinations. There will be many number of students like her..so hope God will bless them with justice.

  • 10
    1

    I think the real reason for the opposition of GMOA to SAITM and private medical colleges in general is the perceived threat to their self-interests. They fear that the graduates emerging from the portals of SAITM and other medical schools it would open the door to, who might turn out to be even more more capable on average than the products of the state medical universities, would swell the ranks of the medical profession in the country and break their monopolistic stranglehold and undermine their privileged status. It would also mean a further addition to the competition in the private healthcare sector, which would ultimately mean fewer rupees in their pockets. The GMOA’s mala fides is evident in their different treatment of foreign qualified medical graduates, even though some of these foreign medical schools are said to have a lower standard than SAITM. The probable reason for this double standard is that, the costs of medical education abroad being what they are, this option is open only to such few sri lankans as not to pose a threat to the GMOA’s monopoly. The banners displayed these days across the facades of many state hospitals expressing concerns about the safety of patients in the hands of SAITM doctors is nothing but an insincere and wicked attempt to hoodwink and frighten the masses who are asses into supporting the GMOA’s cause.

  • 3
    7

    Didn’t u consult the regulatory body SLMC before joining to the saitm.? Didn’t u see the SLMC advertisement on medical degrees ? Didn’t u know that every doctor should get SLMC approval before practicing medicine in Sri Lanka?

    • 6
      3

      SLMC and GMOA , who are they ?

      These are hypocrites who are holding innocent patients as their ransom for any thing ! remember how they protested for their car permits ? next protest was against the Indian Ambulance service , the other was demanding their sons and daughters to be admitted to the elite school throughout the country . now these Mafia clans want to scrap the SAITM, wonder why ? Apparently , they are highly concerned about our well being , These hypocrites claim SAITM doctors would kill innocent patients , why would they suddenly worry about us now ? All these new doctors have truly lost the respect from the general public . have you seen how they address the media ? sheer arrogance is the word coming to my mind . next time watch how Doctor Soyza addresses the media , you will see what i meant .

    • 2
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      Dear Mr. Mohamed.

      Are you married? If not check all before you marry.

    • 1
      2

      Did Rajarata university ,KDU have SLMC approval when they started?just because of a government university SLMC cant give SLMC approval.according to latest medical audinence Health Minister has authority to give the recognition.SLMC van give only recommendations.Using poor people as weapon SLMC misguiding the community

  • 7
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    SAITM Doctors can always seek foreign employment / posting through the assistance of WHO. The demand for healthcare professionals in Africa and Middle East are very strong. Eventually the brightest Students will be forced to migrate as they have done in the past.

    • 1
      4

      heheheeven somalia will not accept these idiots if they are not ready to sit an exam and get SLMC approval. Those countries are not like srilanka to get it down by throwing the money

  • 1
    2

    Impressive story. But have to correct one point regarding the z score issue. 2011 was the yr maximum numbr of medical students were selected from all over the country including kandy district regardless weather its 1st or 2nd attempt. I wish a well educated and passionate student like you choosed a better place than SAITM to study medicine. Anyway good luck.

    • 1
      0

      Thank you..the intake was increased but not from Kandy.in that year Kandy intake was 74.but last two yearsvit was 87 and 91.

  • 3
    3

    In the UK, if one studied at a med school that is not recognized by the GMC, the UK government will not allow you to sit for the PLAB exam to be eligible to work as a post graduate doctor. You knew that you were studying in an unauthorized medical school and it’s not fair to expect the SLMC to suddenly change their judgment.

    It’s unethical and illegal period.

    I too started at NCMC which was recognized by the SLMC. I completed my degree overseas and is a citizen of two other countries. I was invited to be an examiner to the Royal college and have been following the SAITM saga with a pinch of salt. The CEO and your dean are in hot water for corruption. This is bad bad news Sajeeda.

    All you guys should try to do internships in India or eastern Europe. It won’t be easy and it will cost you more money for doing training under supervision. There might be more exams too. You need internships completed to write the USMLE in the country of undergraduate training. I have done the lot. Believe me its quite challenging! Australia, Canada and NZ are out, unless you have a CCT from the west – meaning being in the consultant register.

    My heart bleeds for you as it looks like you have wasted 5 years of your life studying in an unrecognized Institute. The longer you wait the more de-skilled one becomes and this is dangerous to patients and your confidence to practice medicine.

    The other option is to ask Rajitha’so niece what he thinks, as he was dead against NCMC, which propelled his political career. He has changed his tune as this is what is required to be successful in politics in Sri Lanka. Ha ha…

    Best of luck, I pity your situation, but please don’t give up. You seem a very bright spark!
    I am doing research on a part time basis and it’s very challenging trying to find better ways to stimulate the immune system to make it more efficient to combat illnesses.

    Like you I too need a lot of luck.

    • 0
      1

      Mr Mister

      So in fact there is not much of a difference between you and this student. Pot calling the kettle black. .You too did not qualify to enter the state university and as many tell bought your degree for money where many cannot afford. Now you want to ridicule SAITM. Leave the technical issues here SLMC recognized your NCMC but SLMC did not recognize their SAITM. That is based on politics. I can refer you to a YouTube video where Prof. Carlo Fonseka speaks in favour of SAITM.

      You too entered a ‘kadai’ where the GMOA was against. but for your luck SLMC did not play games. Certainly SLMC played games with SAITM because after having recognized KDU it was duty bound to recognize SAITM. So it was Carlo-GMOA combined politics.

      Call yourself lucky. You cannot make yourself clean by dirtying SAITM. You too would have been in the same boat as SAITM. You demanded a Colombo degree without any shame. you should have been proud of your NCMC degree. This shows all NCMC students were ashamed of their own degree. Do not belittle SAITM. Do not forget your past. Support SAITM and there is nothing wrong with it. Do not accuse of corruption and the Dean is an honourable lady who was Serving Anatomy Department of Faculty of Medicine Colombo. earlier and now joined SAITM. The CEO denies any wrong.

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 3
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    All this time studying in SAITM, haven’t you had a single doubt/ question about corruption/ fraud done by the SAITM (contradictory advertisements by SAITM against the SLMC notices, SAITM putting full page advertisements for the ex-president in 2014, ex-vice chancellor and the Thajudeen case, ex-CEO and his self shooting incident). If you had these questions, shouldn’t you have put them in your SAITM story as well. If you didn’t have these questions, you are either naïve, or SAITM has given very plausible explanation for them which I am interested to hear for the above questions, or you thought that SAITM would get the SLMC approval by bribing the politicians or thuggery (which makes you complicit in the fraud done by SAITM).

  • 1
    1

    It’s not your fault daughter.!

    It is the fault of Dr. Navil Fernando who cheated innocent and capable students like you, when you have another 2 fair attempt in GCE (A/L). SAITM has cheated and by passed all the regulation and laws from its inception by the means of political and money power. The students like you have become costly victim for SAITM actions and desires. I feel sorry for you.

    Its not just about Sajeeda Darwes or another 100 students. We certainly can’t expect all 1000+ students in SAITM in our calibre and passed a fair and regulated screening in admission. There is a well established system in out country to govern higher education, there is a very strong and professional regulatory body for medicine. Trying to break those regulations and system, to paw way for a private-owned profit-oriented medical-business institute, will definitely hamper the standard of our medical sector and eventually free health care. Very sad part is SAITM using the cause of innocent students like you to achieve their business aims.

    To be honest, you have to voice against SAITM, who cheated you by giving false promise. Students like you should joint had with masses to expose the cheating of SAITM and find a reasonable solution for your plight. This will ensure the justice for your self and safeguard the standard & quality of Medical Profession in Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    1

    Mr.Sinhala man,,media has authority to give space for people expressions which may b valuable.May be dream of a person may not worth for a useless person like you.but we all have dreams to success our life

  • 1
    0

    This girl seems very genuine and deserves a good tertiary education.

    I am not sure from what I have heard that all In SAITM are as well qualified and hard working as she is.
    They should not be allowed to piggy back on deserving students like her.
    Wishing her the best.

    Private Medical education with all the corruption and abuse of power is not a good idea for Sri Lanka.
    It will lead to irreparable social injustice and major agitation among the down trodden.
    I am aware from comments that CT readership have own selfish agendas and is very biased towards their own class but time to think of whole country (not just the Colombo, Kandy etc).

    • 0
      0

      Thank you so much..

  • 3
    0

    Sajeeda has given an excellent account of the rigors of entry to SAITM and the disciplined approach of its approved teaching programme. right through medical school. It is much better than most of the other state faculties with deans, professors lecturers and other paraphernalia. Hope SAITM keeps it up and continues to improve its standards which are costly and borne by state for state uni. Medical education is expensive. Carlo F was praising NCMC today, but then grabbed from GPs, no compensation. Senile forgetfulness.

    • 0
      0

      Thank you so much

  • 2
    0

    Are there no men studying at SAITM?

  • 1
    1

    Sajeeda, No wonder there are smart kids studying in SAITM and they deserve the best of education. That has never been disputed by any. But your story brings out two disturbing issues. One, medical profession must not be there for somebody’s dream to be fulfilled but a dream of a patient and the society to be felt safe in the hands of kind and caring professionals. Determined students, only make a career but a medical profession should ideally be rich in kindness and have had a better story to tell. For example, if you said, your father died of an unidentified flu and there was no medical professional who could help my father, so I was determined to pursue a career in medicine to discover better medical care methods to help those who are helpless, that would have been a justifiable story for SAITM. Or, if you said, my father was dying in the hospital, but no doctor was there to attend to him, although he only needed a paracetamol, therefore I decided on that day that I would become a doctor and make an effort to change the attitude of the uncaring medical sector, it would have been a good story too. But if you want to be a doctor to deal with people’s lives, it is a wrong dream your dad had. This is where the entire profession is in the wrong. Second issue is, you are a smart kid, you had good results and you deserve your education. There were others like you and at least half of SAITM students do have good ALevel results and they are not a problem. But why don’t you smart kids get your SAITM management to publish the ALevel results of Bus Gemunu’s daughters or that of Rajitha’s daughter-in-law? That would be fun, wouldn’t it? One could not mask pranksters with smart kids like you. Don’t get caught in their games, will ye?

    • 1
      1

      Are you implying that the reason that this girl wanted to persue medicine is not good enough?
      Her story isn’t there to please your opinion. She has the required qualifications and she wants to become a doctor. Why don’t you encourage the thought of this girl being the one to cure people?And dont expect sensitive issues in public.
      Keep you low opinions to yourself and help this country progress in its medical field with well educated doctors.

    • 1
      0

      Are you implying that the reason that this girl wanted to persue medicine is not good enough?
      Her story isn’t there to please your opinion. She has the required qualifications and she wants to become a doctor. Why don’t you encourage the thought of this girl being the one to cure people?And dont expect sensitive issues in public.
      Keep you low opinions to yourself and help this country progress in its medical field with well educated doctors.

  • 4
    0

    These stories try to give many reasons for a need of a private medical institution in Sri Lanka for students who did not meet the prevailing requirement that is needed to enter a Government medical school.They do not explain why they blatantly disregarded the rules currently laid down for such people to enter the profession.Since rules are for men they can and should be changed according to the will of the people.But that should be done at the onset of an action in this instance by a 1st year student in the 1st semester arguing that the UGC approved institution does not have the relevant professional bodies authorization and moving the courts for remedial action.When it is to be done by a graduate it becomes a ethical issue .And in my most humblest opinion is not in favor of SAITM .

    • 0
      0

      I disagree with your humble opinion. for you to be against SAITM. I possibly would have supported you, had if admissions were fair where all island merit basis for selection was adopted instead of the district basis where a student from a rural school could easily enter with basic 3 simple passes when city student such as Colombo or Kandy as for example like the writer Sajeeda Darwes 1A and 2B is not enough.. That is grossly unfair.

      I am knowledgeable when students have abused the system having got them registered in rural school either with or without the connivance of the school staff, and had attended tuition from popular teachers in Colombo and still got bare passes and managed to seek admission to the prestigious medical and Engineering faculties.

      If there was a totally all-island merit basis system then I will be with you. But with an erroneous and dubious district basis of admission SAITM is a necessity. If this girl was your daughter would you still be speaking the same?

  • 2
    2

    Don’t totally focus on SAITM – it is a distraction.

    Ask how much of tax-payers money goes to educate the government doctors, their free training at govt. hospitals, their benefits, their tax free pay, etc., and private practices.

    And, how they flee to a foreign country after they serve a few years in SL!

  • 2
    0

    Atleast Colombo telegrah giving a chance for the students to reveal truth which was not done by any media so far.most media go behind majority to take attention from people.Keep your good work Coombo telegraph by giving space for justice..

  • 2
    0

    May u succeed and become a doctor and serve the people of srilanka… ameen

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