13 August, 2020

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SAITM – The Choice Is Between Free Education & Freedom Of Education

By Vishwamithra1984

On the face of things SAITM appears to be the main issue in the country today. In reality, however, there are much more crucial issues than SAITM that are brewing demanding national attention. Yet, the University students and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), with the weight of the GMOA behind them, have managed to catapult this issue to the forefront and media has followed by blowing it out of proportion. When the University students take up an issue, their version of social justice tends to colour their overall judgment altogether. The JVP has garnished the situation making it an issue between the rich and influential and deserving poor. In the leftist cocoon-thinking, the poor are always virtuous and the rich invariably cruel. Thus an educational issue has been very craftily converted into a one of social injustice.

The public perception of this issue is utterly prejudiced and warped. The notion of ‘one should not be allowed to become a doctor through money’ gathers currency when it is sold by the propaganda geniuses of the JVP and its comrades-in-arms. The ‘Upadi Kada’ (Degree Shops)-rhetoric of the JVP is effective. It is not a case of some moneyed students trying to buy their way into the medical profession. On the contrary, all the budding doctors, whether SAITM or otherwise, sit for a common exam, and then face the SLMC qualifying standard. Thus, it is a case of common criteria that all the hopefuls are being put through to ascertain their academic prowess, irrespective of their wealth. The only difference is that, one lot has paid for their education with their own money whereas the other lot has earned a place in a university paid by public funds. The SAITM candidates, like Shylock, the Merchant of Venice, have been more sinned against than sinning.

It is also wildly rumoured that Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Lakshman Kiriella are having more than cordial relationships with the SAITM students. If so, it should be highly commended. The writer is no fan of either of these Ministers and in fact, considers that both are not handling this issue competently. Yet, in a situation where the country and the public are facing an important policy matter, personal antipathy and politics should not be a relevant factor. The issue at hand is whether Sri Lanka should have private medical education or not, and if the nation is in favour of private education, there is nothing to bar Rajitha’s nephew and Kiriella’s niece from becoming medical doctors as long as they have the will and meet the set criteria. In today’s civilised world everybody should have the right for education of their choosing.

Then, the issue of non-availability of facilities for conduct of practical lessons and maintenance of the required standards in SAITM: The first problem could be solved with the patronage of the Ministry of Health. Why can’t the Ministry allow SAITM graduates to attend government hospitals to do their internship since the institution is approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC)? What is the warped logic of Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA)’s opposition to this, when one of their grievances against SAITM graduates happens to be their ‘lack of practical application’? Further, on other specifications cited, what prevents the SAITM management from responding to Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) demands, since it has expressed its preparedness to bend over backwards to obtain full recognition for its students. Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) is a legitimate stakeholder in this issue but this can well be solved if the Government and SLMC cooperate in a constructive frame of mind. Do we have the will and the need to resolve this issue? But the hard truth is something else: the political environment is too toxic and poisonous for any rational resolution of the issue.

Then of course, you have the University students staging protest marches threatening to make SAITM a matter of ‘life and death’ for them. Who are these students and are they the think-tanks that decide on the country’s educational policy? Just because they have been fortunate enough to get selected to the universities funded by the public, what right do they have to deny the right of education to the less fortunate students who are prepared to pay for their education? Are we prepared to sacrifice the ‘freedom of education’ of the general public of this country at the altar of ‘free education’ funded by the general public?

The minimum requirement of a student to enter the Medical College is three simple passes at the GCE Advance Level (GCE A Level) examination. However all those who obtain such standards are not accommodated in the Universities since the Universities have entry limits and hence the entrants are selected on the basis of the facilities of different districts and on the marks they obtained at the GCE A Level examination. In the context of the current competitive environment, each year, hundreds of students, who could otherwise attend the medical college, are shut out purely because the public-funded Universities cannot physically accommodate them. Against such a backdrop, what moral right do these students who get selected to these Public Universities have to deprive those who are ready to pay for their education of that fundamental right? C W W Kannangara, the father of free education would be turning in his grave to see the beneficiaries of his free education abusing that very free education to deprive another lot in the country of freedom of education.

Student population is one of the most volatile and aggressive segments in any country. Their numerous demands, their education and their natural antisocial outlook are handy tools in the hands of greedy and crafty politicians. Their revolutionary burst in 1971 in the guise of a JVP-led insurrection, although brutally suppressed and decimated by Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s government, found another expression in 1987-1989-period in the façade of a second revolution. Ever since that outburst, these ‘free-educated’ University students always showed a self-destructive tendency to block public roads and conduct their protests all the while. These ‘free educated’ University students in Sri Lanka will not rest. The difference between free education and freedom of education has eluded these so-called educated minds.

In this country, the University lectures are 100 % free and as we know when something is given free, the recipient invariably fails to appreciate that, however valuable that may be. On top of that, ‘not having to work for education’ gives a lot of time for these students to dabble in politics, and when such political issues are cloaked in a garb of ‘social justice’, such opposition or dabbling assumes unwavering justification. Further, being at an age of exuberance and promise of youth, these students assume that the whole world is their playground. In such a dynamic context, the current unrest of the Sri Lankan University students, having not yet climaxed to an explosive end, looks a misguided journey of a drunkard. Having availed themselves of free education, they are opposing a policy that ensures their brethren the same at a cost. They must remember that a majority of students who are seeking admission and completion of their medical degree in private universities are not millionaires’ children. Most of them may have had their parents’ land, jewellery and other properties pawned and mortgaged to a bank or the village lender. That story never ends in Sri Lanka and our student population is part and parcel of this sad saga.

However, this discussion is not complete without a word about the JVP. The State-run Universities are the breeding ground for the JVP activists. So, protection of the status quo of these universities is of prime importance to them. When it comes to Universities, issues such as private tuition at the AL stage, International schools, graduating in foreign Universities etc. are not valid to the JVP. For the free-educated University students and their political mentors, the JVP, the issue of SAITM is not one of education or medical standards, but an issue of political survival.

There is yet another contentious position with regard to this whole anti-SAITM issue. The SLMC has accepted the medical degree offered by 77 international Universities as the basic entry requirement to sit for the SLMC examination. This includes 23 universities in Malaysia. Therefore, if Dr Neville Fernando started his SAITM in the neighbouring Malaysia and if this same batch of Sri Lankan students were enrolled there, the SLMC may not have had any qualms about allowing them to sit for the SLMC entry examination. Thus, the SAITM issue finally gets reduced to an issue of location rather than an issue of standards. It is indeed an irony that we are spending billions of foreign exchange to send our children to foreign universities while countries like Malaysia are earning billions of foreign exchange having allowed private Universities to flourish in their country during the past 20 years.

In short, SAITM is not an issue of any meaningful social injustice. It is a dangerous symptom of a malignant social disease of hatred, jealousy and class-enmity.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

 

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Latest comments

  • 8
    1

    Vishwamithra1984 –

    RE: SAITM – The Choice Is Between Free Education & Freedom Of Education

    Yes.

    “On the face of things SAITM appears to be the main issue in the country today. In reality, however, there are much more crucial issues than SAITM that are brewing demanding national attention. Yet, the University students and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), with the weight of the GMOA behind them, have managed to catapult this issue to the forefront and media has followed by blowing it out of proportion. When the University students take up an issue, their version of social justice tends to colour their overall judgment altogether. The JVP has garnished the situation making it an issue between the rich and influential and deserving poor. In the leftist cocoon-thinking, the poor are always virtuous and the rich invariably cruel. Thus an educational issue has been very craftily converted into a one of social injustice.”

    Yes.

    Do we have Socialism Capitalism or a Mixed Economy?

    GMOA,ad SLMC have latched on to JVP so that they can continue on their Castism ans Mafia Activities.

    They do not want competition. Is it a free market or not?

    Can JVP prevent people being poor? Do they know how to get the most productivity from the People? Why have communism and socialism failed? Low productivity?

    What is JVP saying about Private Practice and Channeling?

    Is JVP Whoring for GMOA and SLMC?

    Strange bedfellow, indeed.

    • 1
      0

      Vishwamithra1984 –

      RE:SAITM – The Choice Is Between Free Education & Freedom Of Education

      Are the Sri Lankans sicker now and less physically fit that 60 years ago?

      The Cure for 97% of Diseases, is Not SAITIM, GMOA and SLMC.

      Diabetics is an epidemic, and so is kidney disease and obesity.

      Dr. John Bergman

      Published on Nov 4, 2015

      It may sound like an incredibly bold statement, however, Dr. Bergman will discuss exactly how 97% of diseases can be prevented and cured. The belief system of the medical allopathic model of healthcare is beginning to shift to a vitalistic approach to healing that supports the body’s natural systems. It’s time to change the world and it begins now.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3V3TITSDxc

  • 9
    4

    I don’t like anyone getting a MBBS after trying 3 times, let alone buying it because they couldn’t make the cut even after three attempts.

    Wonder who Kirra wants to buy the MBBS for?.

    • 5
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      K A Sumanasekera

      “I don’t like anyone getting a MBBS after trying 3 times, let alone buying it because they couldn’t make the cut even after three attempts.”

      Some idiots will always try ti be doctors, because their parents want them t be doctors or they want t be doctors.

      The unsuspecting patients are at the mercy of their low intelligence and limited knowledge.

      Therefore, in addition to the subject tests, that can be gamed by cramming, there shoukd be intelligence tests, that are hard to be gamed.

      The current system of selection is mixed bag of the intelligent and not so intelligent, and the SAITIM is not much different.

  • 2
    2

    In my humble opinion there is nothing to choose between Free Education and Freedom of Education. In fact free education was mooted to enlarge the scope of freedom of education. The author’s contention that the minimum requirement to enter medical college is three simple passes in A Level is only true in theory and in practise it is much higher. The testimony of some SAITM students revealed by CT indicates that they are not of inferior in calibre as alleged by some politically motivated demonstrators.

    My position is neither the students nor the parents nor should everybody else not suffer in anguish because of this ongoing dispute. The middle course is for the Government and everybody in SAITM is to cater for off-shore medical degrees in other Universities. SAITM need not align with a solo institution. It can be the off-shore institution of many world reputed medical schools like what SLIIT does for Info Tech. I am confident that if we pursue along these lines we can even equip it with a world class teaching hospital. Further, clinical training need not be restricted to this country. What about neighbouring countries such as Malaysia or Singapore?

    Today, there are many Government doctors, now specialists, whose basic degree is from India, passed the ACT 16 exam, got through the local MD and doing well in life. Damn this politicized demonstrations and agitations. Although it may be a come down in prestige for SAITM, if it says that let the MBBS (SAITM) students should be eligible to sit the ACT 16 exam then this dispute cannot be maintained. I am sure there is enough staff in SAITM to coach the students well such that MBBS (SAITM) students can pass the ACT 16 exam with flying colours.

    • 2
      2

      Court has ruled MBBS SAITM is eligible for internship like what MBBS Colombo, Ruhuna, Kelaniya and Rajarata are eligible for , all under UGC. Why should MBBS SAITM go scouting for further degrees in further countries with further regulations of their own. MBBS SAITM is legally disqualified from sitting Act 16 now ERPM which is meant only for SL citizens with foreign MBBS. SAITM MBBS is a local MBBS like Colombo MBBS sitting for common paper. Too many pandithayas offering faulty opinions casing more confusion. Or is that the aim?

      • 3
        1

        We must derive a solution out of strength and confronting with ruffians may not be prudent. The strength comes with quality. Legally, yes, now at Court of Appeal level, MBBS (SAITM)is as good as MBBS (Colombo). Let the jokers call SAITM inferior. Best course open to SAITM is to avoid them and show to the public at large that SAITM doctors are better than others.

        If we go to fight and say let SAITM is legally accepted in the highest court of appeal and those doctors have to be enrolled as interns to state hospitals. Then you can be sure that the goons will harass the SAITM interns to such a point that they will leave the place. Senior doctors will not guide them at all. SAITM’s will have to keep standing in the hospital like statues.

        So in my humble opinion let the unruly hooligans go to hell. Take an independent stand.

        • 0
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          Interns have authority in their wards and goons cant harass. Consultant in charge cant kill their patients. Goons can be jailed. There is a hospital police post. This is not a uni ragging mentality. This is govt. and rule of land and goons will have to go courts with lawyers. Interns don’t leave hospitals like uni ragged. They will not be standing like statues in your foul imagination. Submit to ERPM FAILERS and no internship. Must confront and overcome, and not negotiate with devil’s den. Only internship is safe and not the ‘clinicals’ with goons.

    • 0
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      It is legal for India MBBS to sit Act 16 ERPM, but it is illegal for any SL MBBS to sit ERPM. Then why are deans wanting this. Obviously to fail SAITM MBBS(pass 10%)proving their case SAITM is inferior. Psychos.

    • 0
      0

      Good sense, You are daft. SAITM is going no where, off-shore or world class teaching hospital. Are you part of job agency that send out qualified out of country. Who wants to go to neighbouring countries. You are trying to promote the illegal Act 16 on SAITM, who already have local MBBS, so that when they are failed purposely, you can get hold of them and send them for profit. Your off shore scheme wont work with SAITM who are very stable on the shore and clever.

  • 6
    2

    You have identified a TOXIC POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT.
    You have identified that CLINICAL TRAINING suggested to be done in hospitals is obstructed by GMOA. So it is NOT A SOLUTION. I agree.
    Further identified the following
    Free education leads to antisocial OUTLOOK used by politicians.
    While getting it free, they OPPOSE others getting it at a cost.
    SLMC CANNOT LEGALLY ALLOW the ERPM EXAM to SAITM from SL, but can allow if SAITM from Malaysia. Location in SL is under UGC legally. So it is not a matter of standards. Not social injustice, but SOCIAL HATRED,JEALOUSY and CLASS ENMITY to which I would add language insecurity, fear, social inadequacy. Grabbers not nation builders.
    But SLMC must document criteria for standards and teaching hospitals and gazette them to make them legal for even Rajarata and Eastern.
    SAITM only has one legal option from the verdict, that is to register for internship. SAITM will be destroyed by sitting for any made up exam. without gazetting or lawful standard by SLMC. ERPM fails most.
    All local MBBS under UGC are equal in the eyes of the law. So SAITM MBBS can only sit the Common paper for local universities. Computer correction of answer scripts avoids examiner bias. SAITM internship means no problem. But GMOA/SLMC want chaos, not a solution.

  • 3
    0

    “…….gets reduced to an issue of location rather than an issue of standards. It is indeed an irony that we are spending billions of foreign exchange to send our children to foreign universities while countries like Malaysia are earning billions of foreign exchange having allowed private Universities to flourish in their country during the past 20 years.” and we shout our voices our hoarse that we are far behind Malaysia in all development indexes, and they were behind us in the 60s

  • 2
    4

    make policy Study in SAITM and work in foreign countries not sri lanka

    • 2
      1

      I think you can rest assured that most SAITM students will end up in lucrative positions abroad

      Meanwhile our University Sahodaraya’s will still be agitating and striking about the next fashionable cause and still will not have passed out as doctors

    • 4
      0

      Precisely! That is what may happen. Our economy is kept going by Housemaids in the Middle-east, and those who have played the system well enough may think that they are too good to serve our people.

      Note that I’m supporting private education for those who want it, and SAITM. What I am saying is that we should not blind ourselves to the need for social justice and for commitment to certain values.

      Schooling in our family has been in private fee-paying schools for the last eighty or ninety years, but I was in Peradeniya University.

  • 2
    0

    “On the contrary, all the budding doctors, whether SAITM or otherwise, sit for a common exam, and then face the SLMC qualifying standard. Thus, it is a case of common criteria that all the hopefuls are being put through to ascertain their academic prowess, irrespective of their wealth.”

    While I agree with all the other opinions cast in the article. I am not so sure if this statement is correct. Can you clarify?

    • 0
      0

      “all the budding doctors, whether SAITM or otherwise, sit for a common exam, and then face the SLMC qualifying standard.”

      It would actually be quite funny to witness such an examination. There would be a bunch of twenty-somethings from SAITM having studied without interruption because Education is Expensive and mid-thirty-somethings from University since they have been spending most of their time getting involved in some protest or the other because education is Free

      But I don’t think that will fly with the GMOA and Sahodarayas. They want the lowest common denominator to be able to be doctors in Sri Lanka.

  • 5
    0

    I do believe in several social democratic values. It should be mandatory for government to provide universal healthcare, housing (with access to proper sanitation, water, electricity, internet etc), education and other critical services.

    Government must provided free primary, secondary and tertiary education options. When it comes tertiary education at least the Science faculties should be 100% free along with studies on linguistics, communication, education, entrepreneurship etc. Math, Science and Technology will determine the future. Communication and linguistics are critical in a multilingual society like SL and the ability provide proper effective education methods is critical. I would partially get rid these Art Faculties or at least give a major overhaul in subjects and make entrance to the available spots very difficult.

    But that does NOT mean prohibiting private education, healthcare and so on. It should be a choice. Government must provide an option but ultimately it’ll be up to the people to decide whether they will select public or private services.

    Therefore it must be “Freedom OF Education, Healthcare, etc” and NOT just “Free Education, Healthcare, etc”.

    Simple fact is, if government services were good enough I wouldn’t bother with private services. In-fact the private services would have to adapt and provide very tempting additional services not provided by govt services to attract me. Otherwise I would simply go to a government hospital or university.

    Social democratic values do not mean socialism or communism. But it does mean that it is mandatory for the government to provide critical services to all citizens for free (That includes tertiary education). Whether some citizens will select that option is up to them.

    • 5
      0

      Cost of free education uni. is that you become a slave of ragging throughout, not experience individual freedom, cant think outside the herd, unemployed even after degree, cant even teach some students and earn a living. You live in bondage.
      Freedom of education is the reverse, you make choices and learn to take the consequences, you can keep improving in life without depending on the state for everything(statism) for education, health. I do believe in good welfare states.

  • 1
    1

    The last paragraph of the article sums it all up very correctly…

  • 6
    3

    Dear Vishwamithra1984,

    Excellent analysis. You are quite right when you say that:

    “The public perception of this issue is utterly prejudiced and warped.”

    Two issues now current are going to shape the society that we have here 30 years from now, when we are no more: THIS one, and the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act. In both cases, we should not try to “inflict defeat” on the other side.

    However when we write on Colombo Telegraph, we are addressing readers who are manly “pro-private-education”, so I feel that we must understand that BOTH sides of the argument must be understood:

    It is very important that the State Universities should continue to function effectively – but with students attending lectures, NOT with them being forced to march on the Highways.

    State Universities DO indeed have a good many genuinely good students, who must succeed if there is to be that amount of social mobility which alone will stymie frustration-fed violence. However, they must understand that as things ARE they are not, usually, from the poorest segments of society. They have been able to afford shoes while going to school, (subsidised!) travel, and PRIVATE TUITION.

    The “worst off” students in any country are those who attend inner-city schools. Here let’s say they reside in slums by the Kelani River, and next to railway lines. They are required to get “Colombo marks”.

    Also badly off are the “Estate Tamils”, and some (Sinhalese, and Tamil villagers) who live very far away from the Provincial Towns, from the larger schools of which the most favoured enter the Universities.

    Those who are menaces to all are the sort of Union Leaders whose wishes have seemed to prevail for many decades past. They manipulate and finally torture even (“ragging” is a different issue) the average undergrad. And those last are also to blame for not asserting themselves. Some of them have to take on more honest leadership of student affairs (easier said than done!), because the nasty guys have to be replaced with those more principled.

    The case FOR “Freedom of Education” has been adequately dealt with in this forum, and of course, those who wish to NOW spend some MORE have a right to do so, and be rewarded.

  • 8
    2

    When one talks of freedom we should know whose freedom is being talked about.

    Private universities did not catch up in Europe for good reason. Even in the US much of university education is in the state sector. It is in India that the private sector dominates higher education and ruins it. The standard of graduates of engineering and medicine from private colleges affiliated to state universities is a scandal.

    The issues at stake at home are:
    (i) standards (one pays for the degree and there are obvious consequences);
    (ii) eligibility for admission (money as key criterion?);
    (iii) indirect subsidy for private education.

    The state can expand education in fields for which there is national demand. Free education could be replaced by unrestricted right of access to higher education to eligible students. The universities should uphold standards and collect fees for service provided.
    Fair access is ensured by a system of concessionary fees based on merit and a system of loans available to all students, payable after qualification and employment. Terms of the loan can vary from soft loans for those serving the state sector for a specified period; concessionary loans for those serving the country outside the state sector; loans with commercial interest rates for those seeking greener pastures abroad.

    Surplus income from fees could be ploughed back into the system to elevate standards and expand higher education.

    The above should be part of higher education reforms that will also lead to the production of a larger proportion of employable graduates.

    Private education can compete with state education but subject to strict monitoring of standards at admission and in the award of degrees. Wages of teachers cannot be allowed to undercut those of state university academics.
    Teaching for a fee outside one’s job should be strictly controlled.

    • 3
      0

      SJ,
      “Fair access is ensured by a system of concessionary fees based on merit and a system of loans available to all students, payable after qualification and employment. Terms of the loan can vary from soft loans for those serving the state sector for a specified period;”
      “Teaching for a fee outside one’s job should be strictly controlled.”
      Yes, I completely agree with you and have proposed similar reforms in other places. But don’t you think implementation will set off a ruckus greater than SAITM?

      • 2
        0

        Old Codger
        Thanks.
        What I am suggesting is a secure way out for any government struggling for funds to keep free education going amid a growing demand for higher education.
        I concede that there could be improvements in detail or even better options. These are matters that the people should discuss without waving party flags.

        The SAITM issue concerns conflicting interests. The proposal here merely comprises a realistic mean, and is consistent with practice in many countries, rich and poor.
        Let us think along these lines and through public discussion find something that will be good for the country and fair to the vast majority.

  • 1
    0

    If we go on like this closing medical colleges (I say so because medical students are on the roads everyday protesting and may not be attending lectures!) the end result will be in 2018 we will not have passing out doctors to serve the public. I think this happened in 1989 or so when JVP terrorized the country. I believe final year medical students had to be engaged to serve the patients. If I am right in this information it was during an era of terror. Are we in the same status today-in a Reign of Terror? Let everyone buckle up and decide.

    • 1
      1

      In 1987, universities closed, lasted 3 years. Final years remained final. Interns did 3 years of internship. A/L were stuck for 3 years. After reopening, Private NCMC MBBS local continued till batches ended. Prof. Carlo started Kelaniya Med. faculty with the batches following. MBBS NCMC was absorbed in to internship followed by interns of MBBS Kelaniya. Prof. Carlo now prez. SLMC, is hoping to do the same to SAITM, for SAITM MBBS to be absorbed to internship with verdict already given, and may be to follow with something like MBBS Malabe from a state take over uni in Malabe. Will he realise his dream? The deans in SLMC are shouting to close SAITM. Street hooligans want SAITM, to take over, control with their raggers, and make slaves. One obstacle to the dream is how to take over private property. NCMC stool on govt. land with govt. hospital. SAITM is all private. JUSTICE is FOCUS. All these individual opinions expressed add confusion.

  • 1
    0

    there is one head in the rectum pandithaya saying that private universities did not catch up in europe.get up in europe. get your head out mate ,there are no govt universities in the UK.you should be pro

  • 1
    0

    Today the political atmosphere is different from what it was back in the 88/89 era. JVP may stir up protests from behind and make a big noise, but it represents only a minority (it has only 6 members in the parliament and voter base less than 5% in the last election). Most of the students attended at SAITM are from middle income class families. In Sri Lanka, the middle income class has grown exponentially during the last two decades and continues to grow. So whether we like it or not, private universities are here to stay and we all have to get used to it. I personally think that these private institutions should have started back in the ’70s because, even if the current intake capacity of tax payer funded universities are doubled, still there going to be approximately 50% left out without a placement.

    • 0
      0

      Aravinda, absolutely right. Because of lack of placement opportunity in SL, freedom does not make sense. Even our Medical Council chose wrong path to close medical schools. Their function under the Medical Ordinance is to establish, not close schools. 1st school in Jaffna was fee paying. SLMC is illegal to put any examination above a local MBBS already authorised under UGC according to Ordinance. Otherwise, SLMC should have closed Rajarata and Eastern schools long ago. But Council allows them to come to standard. SLMC was wrong to slam door on SAITM and court verdict proved it. Not its function. Neither is SLMC allowed to put ERPM above a local approved MBBS. UGC can allow common Final MBBS for all local MBBS. SLMC is not free to put ERPM. That’s freedom.

  • 4
    0

    Dear aravinda,

    I’m sure that I hate those aspects of the JVP as much as you do. The firm support they have is not much, but with the Rajapaksas having been exposed (the wish is father to that conclusion by me) and Ranil and My3 not delivering, more votes could go to the JVP – out of despair. We all thought that they’d get much more support in Aug 2015. There were other reasons why we voted UNP, with votes for the SLFP seeming to be for MaRa & Co.

    Definition of Middle Class? Yes, private education has to be accepted. I’ve been a teacher; how horrible the system now, with PRIVATE tuition being the norm. That’s not Education.

    Tax payers funding State Education? Tax payers also depend on the system; if anything akin to a revolution comes, then we will realise how vulnerable we are. Indirect taxes mean everyone pays “taxes”.

    I wonder what your stand is on Ethnic Relations? And on the many corrupt politicians that the government tolerates in its ranks? Never will the Rajapaksas get my vote. I’ll look for honest people. It is very unlikely that I will ever vote for the JVP, but it is just possible! No, really! I will vote for honest guys who stand no chance of getting elected. I will NEVER spoil my vote.

    Is power going to be cut off at mid-night today owing to strike? No idea. But I’m not too despondent; we are likely to muddle along! I have commented above as well.

  • 0
    0

    Is it possible, that JVP wants university education to be privatized, because, if students do not want to understand the importance of the free education, the govt has no choice and has to privatize education. It helps JMOA also as they will become big businessmen.

    Once universities are privatized, west may invest in it and may use cheap knowledge.

  • 1
    0

    Vishwamithra1984: “Yet, the University students and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), with the weight of the GMOA behind them, have managed to catapult this issue to the forefront and media has followed by blowing it out of proportion.”
    SAITM issue must not be dismissed as a non-issue and use of the term “out of proportion” shows your prejudice.

    Vishwamithra1984 again: “When the University students take up an issue, their version of social justice tends to colour their overall judgment altogether.”
    Remember university student protests in US led to the end of Vietnam war. Their vocal opposition in UK contributed to the dismantling of the then Apartheid regime.

    Vishwamithra1984 yet again: “The JVP has garnished the situation making it an issue between the rich and influential and deserving poor.”
    May not be sufficiently true but necessarily? Yes.
    Remember an influential person due to sit an exam was received with bullath by the principal, given computer facilities in an air conditioned room. The scored 98% – feat by Felix Dias. The student never showed brilliance before or after – not even in rugby.
    The unkindest cut of all was the beating up of a student for protesting.

    Vishwamithra1984: “In the leftist cocoon-thinking, the poor are always virtuous and the rich invariably cruel.”
    May not be literally true but close.

    Vishwamithra1984: “Thus an educational issue has been very craftily converted into a one of social injustice.”
    GoSL must address the SAITM issue even-handedly. Remember we went through a civil war over the imposition of standardization.

  • 1
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    There is a big difference between the Free Education and the Freedom of Education. Education has to be a fundamental right of every child and a citizen irrespective of anyone’s social, economic and political standings. Most importantly, it has has to be tied with the Economic and Social Policies of a country decided by the People, of the people and for the people. So it is not a “Private Policy” or a “Private Initiative”. That is the very reason that a Government has to undertake “Education” as a asocial responsibility and design the policies to suite the country for the present and the future; if not, leave it to the “Freedom of Individual” it will definitely lead to a chaotic state. Isn’t that what has happened today. Why don’t we accept this basic Fundamental right to be provided by the State to each and every child of the country to shoulder the responsibility of the future of the country as designed for the future betterment of the country and the people; but definitely not to meet the demands and fancies of individuals of categorized in terms of economic status. Please think about this basic principle seriously.

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    This writer is telling completely wrong facts. Go to Sri Lanka medical council web site. Total number of foreign medical school currently recognized and renewal of registration under pending is 52. In Malaysia total number is 7. Medical council is assessing these foreign medical schoolS periodically and some even erase from the list. If SAITM is established in Malaysia first they have to obtain Malaysian standards to get approval to sit act 16.

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      What is this about SAITM and sitting Act 16. SAITM is a higher local MBBS with automatic registration and they are not approved to sit any other exam. like all other local MBBS under UGC. No local MBBS sits ERPM. Medical Council will not allow SAITM to sit ERPM which is for foreign medical graduates who are SL citizens. The function of GMOA is not to have a set of examinations for local MBBS, but to establish medical schools and bring them up to standard according to the Medical Ordinance. Once they are able to hold their own Final MBBS examination with internal and external examiners, the job of SLMC is to see standards maintained, not slam shut doors on active student life. SLMC is a govt.statutory body with responsibility and accountability. Not TU

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    Wishwamithra has stepped on his own tail. This is part of SAITOM propaganda. No sensible person says that private education (medical or other wise) is not required. It’s only about standards. Medicine cannot be learnt only using textbooks and laboratory experiments. If you lack clinical training you are not a doctor.
    Read the Dean’s recommendations, which includes proposal to re-train the SAITM graduates who have completed in order to give them necessary skills.
    Part of propaganda is to attack self-created false targets and give publicity to them. There is no argument here on private education at all. Its all about SAITM lacking standards and using political and legal powers to abuse the loopholes in the medical ordinance.
    These commentators in fact support the current bankrupt system who struggle with bond scams and corruption which is not at all inferior to previous pilferage and corruption. SAITM is a goldmine for the media and government which are struggling to keep people diverted away from real concerns of daily life. JVP benefitted most and the FSP or Gunaratnam gained an equal mileage at the expense of students on both sides; government as well as SAITM.
    Feel sorry for the good students who are deceived by SAITm to believe that they get a good medical education. They were so unlucky to be stuck there as the management and teachers are not willing to increase the standards and carry out very reasonable proposals of the dean’s committee.
    I suggest that Wishwamithra read that and comment

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    The GMOA is trying to interfere in everything, not just SAITM. The doctors are more out protesting than treating the
    patients needing help. The Medical profession was considered a noble profession but no longer.
    They are the only professionals ,who hold the country to ransom. There are Engineers, Architects,Accountants and
    Lawyers, who do not descend to the level of street protests.
    Next I would like to tell you , that when an Engineer, or Architect produces a plan or design,any man can read and understand it. The same with An Accounts statement or some legal document which is readable and with a little explanation understandable.
    Not so with a prescription of a doctor ! A patient or his kith and kin do not known what is prescribed.
    We think the pharmacists can read and decipher. .Actually it is not so. They guess. You find the pharmacist asking
    the person what his ailment is and then giving the drug..
    Next, why is it that they do not go by generic name ? Again why is it that they prescribe the expensive one when there is
    a cheaper one..?
    On Word Health Day they are on strike ! The Government must declare it an essential service and ban strikes by doctors and nurses and those in other para medical services.
    May I know why the Nurses have a man in yellow robes as their Secretary. It is is an insult to,both Lord Buddha and
    Florence Nightinghale !!! I think it is one Muruththettuve Ananda! How can he be involved with women when he has
    taken an oath of celibacy. Is he the same person after whom a road has been named.

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    0

    The GMOA is trying to interfere in everything, not just SAITM. The doctors are more out protesting than treating the
    patients needing help. The Medical profession was considered a noble profession but no longer.
    They are the only professionals ,who hold the country to ransom. There are Engineers, Architects,Accountants and
    Lawyers, who do not descend to the level of street protests.
    Next I would like to tell you , that when an Engineer, or Architect produces a plan or design,any man can read and understand it. The same with An Accounts statement or some legal document which is readable and with a little explanation understandable.
    Not so with a prescription of a doctor ! A patient or his kith and kin do not known what is prescribed.
    We think the pharmacists can read and decipher. .Actually it is not so. They guess. You find the pharmacist asking
    the person what his ailment is and then giving the drug..
    Next, why is it that they do not go by generic name ? Again why is it that they prescribe the expensive one when there is
    a cheaper one..?
    On Word Health Day they are on strike ! The Government must declare it an essential service and ban strikes by doctors and nurses and those in other para medical services.
    May I know why the Nurses have a man in yellow robes as their Secretary. It is is an insult to,both Lord Buddha and
    Florence Nightinghale !!! I think it is one Muruththettuve Ananda! How can he be involved with women when he has
    taken an oath of celibacy. Is he the same person after whom a road has been named. Perhaps in recognition of the
    many strikes he has organized..

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