28 October, 2021

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Tamils Succeeding From Jaffna: A Star In The Dark Skies

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Outlook for Jaffna

Having returned to Sri Lanka to settle for the third time, I cannot help wondering if Sri Lanka is really ready for progress. Signs were good, but not any more. The promised reforms have stalled. There are still signs of a police state and the Human Rights Commission confirms continued use of torture. Real estate is rising in value slowly compared to the rest of the country, driving Tamil investors to invest outside the North. Jaffna’s youth are satiated by luxurious lives with motorbikes and Android smartphones sustained by relatives abroad. But what of education to pull them out of dependency?

Education: Bad News

My former student, Dr. Roshan Ragel, at the Akaram Foundation Workshop in Jaffna on 15.10.2016, presented a chilling analysis of education. He represents another breed of Northern Province products who are well-accomplished but find they can only grow elsewhere. Using his metric of assessment which he calls the Normalized Metric Value, he showed that the Northern Province has undergone a sharp drop for overall university entrance from first place in the 1980s to eighth place today (out of 9) and the Eastern Province is still in one of the last places now as then. In contrast, over this period, Western Province has retained its second place while Southern Province has moved from third place to first:analysis-of-education-in-sri-lankaThese figures from Ragel indicate that within Northern Province, Jaffna District’s ninth place (out of 25) for overall admission is similar to the much improved Vavuniya District’s performance.

At the same meeting the Eastern Province Education Minister, The Hon. Singaravelu Thandayuthapani, spoke coherently showing there are still a few competent people remaining in Tamil areas. His data showed the same precipitous state in the East as indicated in Ragel’s.analysis-of-education-in-sri-lanka

roshan-ragel

Dr. Roshan Ragel: The Normalized Metric Value

We see the Sinhalese not qualifying in relation to their provincial share of the eastern population in each of the three streams, the Muslims doing relatively well in the biosciences, and Tamils surprisingly doing better in arts.

Other Sources

Other sources confirm this precipitous decline in Tamil performance. For example, in the exam to select nurses held in the 25 districts, Galle, Hambantota, and Kegalle had 455, 431 and 428 qualifying candidates while at the low end were Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Mannar, and Kilinochchi, which had 7, 17, 18, and 18 qualifying candidates respectively. Jaffna did middlingly with 156 qualifying candidates while Trinco had 80, Puttalam 82 and Batticaloa 87. In contrast, Amparai had 228 qualifying and Monaragala with 153 matched Jaffna. Very recently both these districts were the most underperforming districts in the country.

As another source, consider the exam conducted on 29.11.2015 by SLIDA (Sri Lanka Institute for Development Administration) for the Election Commission for our recruitment exercise. SLIDA’s test consisted of an aptitude test and an essay test in the most appropriate language, Tamil or Sinhalese.analysis-of-education-in-sri-lanka

The pass rate for Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims was 88%, 38% and 48% respectively – essentially, most Tamils who sat for the exam failed. Out of the 371 candidates, the first 10 in rank were Sinhalese and among the last 10 (all of whom failed) there were two Sinhalese, and one Muslim and seven Tamils. Among Tamils, while the IQ marks in the aptitude test were comparable, the marks for the essay writing were well below the Sinhalese’s. The matter needs attention.

The Hon. Singaravelu Thandayuthapani: One of Few Competent Persons Serving

The Hon. Singaravelu Thandayuthapani: One of Few Competent Persons Serving

Role of English

The low essay marks for Tamils shows they do not read. Exercising literacy is the key to education: from critically reading diverse materials as learners, and translating this growing adeptness with language and knowledge into writing. This literacy is particularly important for English, which is now the language of all international exchange. Without English literacy, access to knowledge becomes highly constricted, because academic knowledge is developed, gathered, and exchanged globally in English. English competency is therefore a mark of high quality education. Unfortunately, poor English proficiency is a serious problem that holds Jaffna back. Having been isolated for many decades, teachers across the district are unable adequately to guide ones education in English. This problem is widespread even at the top tiers of the university. When the university website has a Dean speaking of his “academic carrier” one would wonder if someone else carried his academic load for him. When a Senior Lecturer Grade I declares on the university website that “He has taughted” at Peradeniya’s Faculty of Engineering, anyone would naturally question the quality of the English medium courses at Jaffna and Peradeniya. The picture is grim as the University of Jaffna is led by a Vice Chancellor who wrote to her “Deens” ordering them to get senior staff to sign an urgent letter of support for Mahinda Rajapakse’s election because “we have to forwarding this” before 29.12.2014. Reference letters for students written in such English reduces the value of the students in the job market, since employers outside the community question both the legitimacy of the reference and the quality of the university.

Is Jaffna a Lost Cause? The case of Thevamaran

Can we Tamils ever come back to our pre-war, pre-standardization level of achievement? I was very despondent until I met Dr. Ramathasan Thevamaran this week at Rice University in Houston, TX. He studied at St. John’s College during the war years. He worked hard to pick up English, which his parents encouraged knowing there is no future without it. He went for classes to Mr. Alex Thambirajah of St. John’s to learn beyond the trivial OL syllabus. He went to V. Paranthaman of the university’s ELTU and did OL English Literature. He entered Peradeniya, and received many prizes at St. John’s. He topped the batch and entered CalTech, one of the world’s most prestigious science universities, and got his doctorate.

Dr. Ramathasan Thevamaran: A Star in the Dark Sky

Dr. Ramathasan Thevamaran: A Star in the Dark Sky

This October, Dr. Thevamaran published as the premier author in the journal Science on his research using nanotechnology with lasers to develop strong and tough nanograined metals. Scientists around the world vie to publish in this journal, and it is considered almost impossible to have a paper accepted by this rigorous and widely read publication. He is a credit to the innate potential of our students.

Thevamaran wants to come back to teach in Sri Lanka but all his mentors here, perhaps wisely, have advised him not to. Yet it is in getting people like him back that our future depends. Currently, he is part of a USgroup trying to get funding for Lankan scholars to do their doctorates. Unfortunately, our scholars are unable to write the required essays explaining why they want to do their doctorate in that particular programme. When advised to get help to get the essay and its grammar right, they say their professors have already corrected it.

Thevamaran recalls being taken by CalTech to meet Dr. Michael Nelson, a top Analyst on Technology Policy in Washington for the US Government who told their group: “First Grade people hire first grade people and surround themselves with intelligent people. Second grade people hire third grade people.

This is Sri Lanka’s tragedy. Stooging by the third grade recruits is apparent in our university websites, with the VC on almost every page. TNA’s M.A. Sumanthiran publicly said at a seminar at Jaffna’s Managers Forum that because of quality they do not have MPs to man parliamentary committees. This in turn is because candidate nominations are given by our second grade politicians to third grade stooges without any party democracy. TNA MPs have no interest in our universities because their children get scholarships in India or they plan to send them to the West.

For Sri Lanka to do well, Tamils must do well. For Tamils to do well, our universities must do well. Stars in the dark skies like Thevamaran must be enabled to come back, not just in political sentiment, but in active changes led by the President and fostered in the university community.

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    Ratnajeevan,

    Excellent and exceptionally creditable work by both Dr. Thevamaran and Dr. Ragel. Thank you for highlighting them and bringing to well-deserved attention their very splendid work – not just for their academic capability but perhaps more so for their willingness, dedication and selfless aspiration to help their country and community.

    You should be supported in every way to help coordinate the work of these two and several others like them who may have the capability and such healthy commitment to educating their countrymen and community.

    However, where you lose your argument and perhaps even begin to become counterproductive is when you stretch it for what can be easily interpreted as being of personal interest, grudge, vengeance, whatever.

    I make the above caveat with reference to your statement “Stooging by the third grade recruits is apparent in our university websites, with the VC on almost every page… TNA MPs have no interest in our universities because their children get scholarships in India or they plan to send them to the West.”

    What stands out is that the data tables that you presented as compiled by Dr. Ragel shows the poor performance of Tamils at pre-University examinations that are standardized tests conducted across the country, and not by the University.

    How is that failure then a result of “Stooging by third grade recuits…”in the University? Could you please explain how you draw the connection between the increasing failure of Tamil students at University entrance exams and the VC and her “stooges”?

    Isn’t the failure a result of erosion in education at the pre-University days? Shouldn’t the call for rehabilitation of Tamil’s education then start from grades well before University entrance? Is there some direct implication for V.C.’s responsibility, except perhaps in the role of guidance and counseling the School committees and School boards, and Dept. of Education?

    Hope you can clarify that and dispel my concern that you may be unduly stretching the responsibility to the VC only because of your standing conflict with the University admin that you brought to light in your last article in these columns.

    I hope my question/concern is a reasonable one – However, if you feel otherwise, please feel free not to clarify or respond. But, please don’t rush to undue, misinformed conclusions on my identity or intentions, or about my friends, as you did in the responses under your previous article, that unfortunately ended up rather ugly to my utter regret.

    Thanks – and best of wishes on this admirable initiative.

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      Prof. Sivasegaram,

      “How is that failure then a result of “Stooging by third grade recuits (sic)…”in the University?”

      Education goes top down Sir. Bad VC, bad Profs.; Bad Profs, bad graduates: bad graduates bad teachers in schools; bad teachers in schools bad student performance; bad student performance, Prof. Ragel’s statistics staring us in the eye.

      That’s how. There! Even a child can explain that Sir.

      I guess you were taught like my parents: “fuzzy thinking, fuzzy writing” and the corollary “fuzzy writing, fuzzy thinking” in learners, etc..

      i. e fuzzy thinking” in VC fuzzy writing by VC; fuzzy thinking by VC, bad Profs. selected, good ones kept/kicked out ; Fuzzy Profs, Fuzzy graduates: Fuzzy graduates Fuzzy teachers in schools; Fuzzy teachers in schools fuzzy thinking in students; fuzzy thinking in students bad student performance as shown by Prof. Ragel’s statistics staring us in the eye.

      The downfall of Jaffna education starts at the very top, where hiring is internal to perpetuate this fuzziness. Read the Council Minutes (we all know you are there to edit it for English now) written by the VC herself, even appointment letters that are downright legal documents. No wonder the system is like this.

      Looks like even all the brilliance of the Tamil student’s minds and DNA cannot combat the disadvantage posed. Stooging for the VC, covering up for her, doctoring documents to her advantage, encouraging all her misdeeds, is not helping anyone Sir.

      So don’t be all fuzzy! oops! I meant fussy

      • 1
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        Chundikuli Girl,

        What makes you think Kumar R is Prof. Sivasegaram?
        It doesn’t seem the writing styles are the same; also, the latter has used other aliases, which, apart from the style and content, is also revealed by the same gravatar as when he uses his real name. I know people sometimes get extra emails to correspond to different aliases, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. I remember seeing Kumar R on CT starting a long time ago, say 7–8 years, while Prof. S has been active on CT relatively recently, say 1–2 years. And the latter has a Marxist orientation that often comes through in his comments.

        • 0
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          // has a Marxist orientation that often comes through in his comments. //

          This orientation you have observed, good or bad?

        • 2
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          Hi Agnos,

          Letting that poor little Ch. Girl aside, excusing her for her tender age and experience, can you imagine that an esteemed researcher Jeevan (and the late surrogate Erasmus – bless his soul) also made that same scientific diagnosis, despite the PhD’s, DC’s and the decades long mentoring of other “podian” researchers!

          Shouldn’t that cast some kind of shadow on the credibility of their arguments put forward – either for the inadequacy in “fuss” or perhaps something much less honourable in intentions?!

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            I thought everyone saw the point. Sad you cannot Mr. Kumar R!

            Oh God “… you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

            People must write correctly in any language, not only English. Correct grammar is the mark of an educated person.

            But UofJ was a waste of my time. Now I have to take English tuition after graduating with an English degree to get a job.

            “we have to forwarding this”

            Madam, Is it future perfect progressive tense?

            And “Deens”

            Are all your faculty members Muslim babies at UoJ? Why should Muslim babies vote for Mahinda Rajapaksha? Are you all for genocide?

            Isn’t the vote a matter of conscience? It is a very personal thing. How can you tell your staff whom to vote for? If they are “deens” they sure cannot vote on age.

            Why is Kumar R always supporting the VC on all this instead of advising her? Is Kumar R Prof. Sivasegaram the memebr of UofJ Council. I know Dr. Mrs. (Premila) Sivasegaram. She and her father are very respectable and educated people.

            IF the poor deens signed up for MR for the VC’s sake, they are stooging for her. What a woman!
            Stooging: One who allows oneself to be used for another’s profit or advantage.

            • 0
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              UoJ English,

              You got it all wrong kid. My suggestion to Jeevan was that he should take up his battle with the VC and Sivsegaram on its own merits – exposing the ineptness, “stooging”, atrocious communications, and any other deficiencies he could convincingly provide.

              Don’t hi-jack a distantly related critical social issue and use that to vilify someone you have personal grudges with. Surely Jeevan is adequately educated and experienced to take up the challenges more forthrightly – right?

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                Kumar R.

                “Don’t hi-jack a distantly related critical social issue and use that to vilify someone you have personal grudges with.”

                Distantly related? You are wrong! Vilify? Wrong again!

                Hope you are not one of our academics who can not understand basic academic expression and freedom or the freedom of expression, a right in all institutions of learning!

                Kumar R. look at the facts scientifically, (assuming you are a science man or arts man with developed analytical skills.)

                What is stated about the VC’s English with proof substantiates and is required to be included when enumerating the causes of the erosion of education in Jaffna. We are the ones who are reaping the effects of her inaptitude and you have no say in that. When she writes a communication we don’t understand head or tail of what is meant or where one sentence ends and the next sentence begins for she often mixes them up illogically leading to confusion. Then the Deans and Heads who cannot communicate in English properly interpret her message and tell us their own interpretations as it suits them. The recent clash in our University partly could have been better managed or even prevented if we knew what was being asked. It was not clear what the Administration wanted from whom and when.

                So education is badly affected when the Head of the Institution speaks mumbo jumbo.

                Vilify? Bad English on your part.

                A statement that that can be reasonably interpreted as stating facts is not vilification by any definition. Prof. Hoole is speaking for the students risking his own career.

                It sounds to us like you are the one vilifying someone you have personal grudges against by your skewed interpretations of black and white actual facts presented in this excellent article.

                UofJ students deserve better.

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                  Vis,

                  First of all, with regard to your statement “freedom of expression, a right in all institutions of learning (sic)” let me let you in on a secret, That right is NOT limited to institutions of learning, as you seem to believe.

                  You are welcome!

                  Now, you want to be scientific and analytical, so let’s do that.

                  If I skim off all the nonsensical rants in your narration, the grievances you have against the VC/University boil down to the following (please let me know if I missed anything else that is relevant in as far as the complaint on VC/University admin, from your response).

                  1. When she writes a communication we don’t understand head or tail of what is meant or where one sentence ends and the next sentence begins for she often mixes them up illogically leading to confusion.

                  2. Then the Deans and Heads who cannot communicate in English properly interpret her message and tell us their own interpretations as it suits them.

                  3. The recent clash in our University partly could have been better managed or even prevented if we knew what was being asked. It was not clear what the Administration wanted from whom and when.

                  I agree completely that every one of them are possibly very valid and critical, and if so, then it absolutely requires prompt remedy – whether firing the VC, stooges, whatever. I have no disagreement whatsoever with that.

                  My question for your “scientific/analytical” consideration is this: Which of the above issues that you listed did not deserve attention and action on its own merit, but had to await ratification from Dr. Ragel’s work on grade school performance?!

                  Don’t you think you that every one of the issues that you point out in the above screams for prompt attention on its own merit? You rightly knew your freedom of speech rights, and so why did you collectively fail to effectively challenge the VC and the University with every one of the issues that you so astutely compiled – did you lack the ability, confidence or the courage? Shame on you!

                  I have two fundamental concerns. Dr. Ragel’s work point to a critical need to elevate grade school performances, and that cannot wait another decade to take effect. Replacing the VC and her stooges may be necessary and could very well have immediate effect on the performance of the University students – but it will do zilch to grade school performance in the near term – the trickle-down that you, Jeevan and the Chundukuli lass contemplate are rather farfetched for the current needs at grade school. As such you, Jeevan, and whoever else on this “lets just attack the University” band-wagon should refrain from riding on the backs of a more pervasive and urgent civilian issue of the need to promptly address grade school performance. You can continue your fight with the University on the merits of your own observations – just don’t hi-jack the grade-school issue to meet your goals selfishly. Your action actually distracts the need for direct attention that the grade schools deserve!

                  There are number of ways to address the current crisis of eroding grade school performance, and if the principal need is to improve skills English, then help the community address that effectively.

                  For instance, if the consensus is that the pool of UoJ graduates in Jaffna is the problem (remembering the trickledown theory that you, Jeevan and C.Girl consider champion) then perhaps consider harnessing available talent (graduates from other Universities that are not as dismal as graduates of UoJ?) and resources to organize, or even mandate some intensive English training to UoJ graduate teachers, specifically.

                  I am sure the brilliant brains of the UoJ can come up with many other alternate ways to give the grade school issue the attention they need NOW, and not in ten years from now, instead of riding on the back of that crippling social concern to solve your internal and perhaps even personal problems.

                  Second, while we have your “scientific/analytical” side kindled, I might ask you a question that I had previously and cautiously brought up in my comment to Chuidukuli Girl. Given that you are possibly more (much more?) mature than C.G., at least in age, I guess I can be lax in my caution.

                  Jeevan stated “TNA MPs have no interest in our universities because their children get scholarships in India or they plan to send them to the West.” I am certain you are aware that “good grades“ are the primary criteria for scholarships to India and entry to Universities in the West. So, how could Jeevan claim the politicians are disinterested in what happens at Jaffna University, if Jeevan can at the same time believe that the Jaffna university, especially the VC and her stooges are the primary reason for the erosion of grade school performance that would then affect the grades of their own children as they aspire to get scholarships in India or entry to Universities?! Do you think you can clarify that conundrum – perhaps with help from the esteemed researcher himself?

                  Yes, you all have amply evidenced that “English” is a debilitating issue in education within Jaffna collectively, one way or another. I have no problem with that. However, going by the inferences, defenses and irrational conclusions of champions of academics such as you, Jeevan, C.G., et al, I am afraid that “basic logic” may be an even larger issue!

                  However, going by the inferences, defenses and irrational conclusions of champions of academics such as you, Jeevan, C.G., et al, I am afraid that “basic logic” may be an even larger issue!

                  Indeed “UofJ students deserve better!” And that, not just in English!

                  Regrettably, grade schools deserve even better! So get off the backs of grade schools – develop the discipline to fight your own battles justly and courageously!

          • 0
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            “excusing her for her tender age and experience,”

            Wo wo wo man! Hold it!

            CHILDREN ARE PERSONS TOO IN MODERN EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

            Judge the person by the merit of her argument not her age or gender! This deifies basic teaching philosophy. Obviously you are not a teacher’ for you are too much of a male chauvinist and not aware of it. This is hate speech and couched in patronizing language.

            The argument you need to address is the relationship between progression, or in this case the steady regression and the above clearly demonstrated fact of the VC’s poor language skills and the results obvious to the rest of the world but not to Kumar R. et al.:

            “Fuzzy thinking” in VC fuzzy writing by VC; fuzzy thinking by VC, bad Profs. selected, good ones kept/kicked out ; Fuzzy Profs, Fuzzy graduates: Fuzzy graduates Fuzzy teachers in schools; Fuzzy teachers in schools fuzzy thinking in students; fuzzy thinking in students bad student performance as shown by Prof. Ragel’s statistics staring us in the eye.”

            Insulting someone and shouting foul! foul! all the time contrary to what is obvious, is an insult to all the CT readers.

            The obvious fact is this: The Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University doest not have the basic skill set to be the Vice Chancellor of any modern University in the new millenium. This has consequences and the result is what the good Professor’s article is about.

            Chundikuli girl deserves to be congratulated for her attempt to engage in this serious matter. Not shoved a side and silenced or gender just because of her age.

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              Chundukuli Guy,

              Good try pal – theatrics and all!

              Please note that Ch Girl’s statement “Even a child can explain that” attests to her own recognition of, if not an appeal as norm, the difference in the expected capacity for comprehension between adults and children. How could I then place her on the same scale when I castigate the adult, mature educators who too wrongfully convinced themselves of my identity just as much as she did? Comprehende?

              I couldn’t agree with you more in that “CHILDREN ARE PERSONS TOO” and thus, as you will note my decision for detailed elaboration on, rather than dismissal of, Ch Girl’s response. And yours too!

              As for, “Obviously you are not a teacher for you are too much of a male chauvinist and not aware of it,” in case you have any aspirations to try-out in the “Sherlock-Holmes”ish direction, I would strongly advice you not passing up your day job.

              And as for your “fuzzy” concerns, what could be more fuzzy than Jeevan’s statement “TNA MPs have no interest in our universities because their children get scholarships in India or they plan to send them to the West” if he truly believes also that “the VC and her stooges are the primary reason for the erosion of grade school performance that would then affect the grades of their own children as they aspire to get scholarships in India or entry to Universities”?! Fuzzy Prof did you say? You got it! However, the fuzz is not so much in the English used – rather the logic followed!

              As for “is an insult to all the CT readers” best to let the CT readers be the judge on that, don’t you think? And am sure there is a way to quantify that, which may have escaped you.

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        Chundukuli girl,

        You couldn’t be more right – you understood the issue exactly how a child would. And, your response, even more childish, oops, perhaps more child like?! Perhaps not.

        That is O.K. because you are possibly still a child in the lower grades, or may be one in the higher grades, but one typifying what Dr. Ragel so meticulously profiled.
        Your explanation is precisely what I characterized as an obvious strenuous stretch that mature adults, particularly the educated ones should avoid.

        There are several ways to asses University performance to lay legitimate blame on its admin. For that one could study the change over time in performances such as in international recognition of graduating students for graduate school admissions, professional recruitments, faculty journal submissions, rejections in peer review, invited conference participation and paper presentations, etc . If one could document significant changes in such metrics, with due consideration of course to other incidentals beyond one’s control (tsunami, war, and such), then one could certainly assess the effectiveness or ineffectiveness that both you and Jeevan uncle are straining to stretch that goes as follows – it is the current VC’s appointment of stooges that affects recruitment at faculties, and that set of bad faculty recruits resulted in diminishing the quality of graduates passing through, who then enter the teacher pool which then begin to affect the quality from grade school as the students pass through the various grades up until they take the entrance exams where the quality manifests that allows uncle Jeevan to judge the VC’s performance! Wow – what a stretch.

        Even if that long pipeline-theory that you have in mind has some footing in normal logic that too is quite easily testable. Assess student performance based on whether their teachers (perhaps subject-wise) were graduates of Jaffna University (since the particular VC’s involvement with the University admin) or not. See – quite straight forward.

        When Jeevan uncle seeks public support for his appointment, and then oddly presents thoughts similar to yours (the foot long-stretch), that quite honestly smells rather fishy. I have no problem with your thinking that way, but not when uncle Jeevan does, and that is because I give due credit for his well proven intelligence.

        Let me try another one – perhaps that may be over your head as well, and if so I am sorry for the undue strain.

        Jeevan uncle states “TNA MPs have no interest in our universities because their children get scholarships in India or they plan to send them to the West.” Now, even as little as you are, I am sure you already know that India gives scholarships and Universities in the West give admissions to candidates with based on good grades? So, how could Jeevan uncle claim the politicians are disinterested in what happens at Jaffna University, if Jeevan uncle can at the same time believe that the Jaffna university, especially the VC and her stooges are the primary reason for the erosion of grade school performance that would then affect their own children as they aspire to get scholarships in India or entry to Universities?! I sincerely hope that didn’t give you a headache – if you begin to feel the strain, just skip it, save it and read it when you are a little more grown up.
        Fuss has its merits – and an astute researcher needs to value that very much! It is that need for detail, the omission of none, checking out every dot on the “i” that is the cornerstone of research. It is the lack of fuss with regard to detail that resulted in the highly acclaimed researcher Jeevan uncle rushing to undue inferences in this instance. I can only wonder why?

        Finally, the idiocy in you, Jeevan uncle and Earsmus (uncle too?) in mistakenly convincing yourselves as having unmasked me is nothing but escapism — comfort-food, if you may — being starved of any rational explanations for legitimate questions.
        On that count, and hoping uncle Erasmus is still alive, I might ask why he went underground rather hastily, having pressed me for a response in the earlier chain of comments. I am reasonably sure Erasmus surrogate is now “gone for good” to be re-incarnated differently.

        Good luck and hope you get to complete your schooling and may perhaps even rise above the bar that uncle Dr. Ragel regretfully implies.

        Uncle Kumar R. – it is O.K. if you still remains confused on the identity.

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      Kumar R.,

      “Isn’t the failure a result of erosion in education at the pre-University days?”

      Yes

      “Shouldn’t the call for rehabilitation of Tamil’s education then start from grades well before University entrance?”

      Yes. Something for the NPC?

      But the university also needs rehabilitation.

      The VC does not have enough time left for major change and Dr Jeevan is unlikely to be the next VC. Who is the next VC? What can he/she achieve with the existing competence?

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        Lone Wolf,

        “But the university also needs rehabilitation.” Absolutely right! Not for a moment would I even remotely think otherwise.

        My point was merely that while Jeevan makes a compelling argument — that exemplary research by an astute local researcher has convincingly diagnosed significant erosion in the Northern education system (Dr, Ragel’s work) , and that we have exceptional talent to meet the challenges in rectifying such social challenge (persons such as Dr. Thevamaran as an outstanding example for such skills) — Jeevan muddles it all up by placing the blame of poor grade school performance in a rather oddly strained stretch seemingly focused on nothing but vilifying the “VC and stooges.” (Please also see my comment to C. Girl above on the appropriate metrics if one were to seriously the assess VC or the University admin).

        My point is simple.

        If Jeevan (or Erasmus or any of those surrogates) has a legitimate issue, concern or conflict with the VC or the supposed stooges, then Jeevan and the surrogates should take that up courageously and forthrightly with them, instead of hi-jacking unrelated (or possibly remotely or tangentially connected) social issues to camouflage your fight at personal level. They certainly can bring the issues of concern to public attention, in their own merit. Do they lack the courage or do they lack the ability to do that? – And that despite their senior years on top of all that education – PhD, DC, whatever?!

        That was my point!

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          “Are you a teacher of the people and do not understand these?”

          As stated by someone above, the comment on the VC’s English is ABSOLUTELY RELEVANT to Ratnajeevan-Hoole’s thesis in the article.

          We are not talking here of a casual email between friends or family! She is circulating a letter to all the so called “top academics” in the whole of Jaffna. Pity the students not her!

          Try writing a definition relevant to the subject she is teaching now: wrong:
          Calorie: a unit of heat used to indicate the amount of energy foods produce in the human body that is equal to 1000 calories.

          Definition at the VC’s English level might be:
          unit heat useing to indicate amount of energy foods produced in the human body that is equal to 1000 calories.

          “amount of energy foods produced in the human body” is totally different from “amount of energy foods produced in the human body”. Just one misting like “forwarded” and “forwarding”.

          Just a small mistake makes gibberish of a definition-likewise with the appointment letters/minutes she drafts-
          without precise language there will be legal/learning consequences that we cannot afford.

          How does she teach Science if she cant’t be accurate? (Home Science Institutes may allow this analysis level but not a Sri Lankan University of your time, I hope)

          Is not the impact of bad English on clarity obvious to you? Hope so. Or else no point wasting words.

          Bad English is dangerous at the VC level. Appointment letters, complaints, meeting decisions need to be spelt out withut the slightest room for any misinterpretation or a law suit will result. Surely you see the point.

          “Varappuyara neeruyarum”- vazhu kuraiya tharam uyarum. Higher the quality of the VC, higher the educational achievements of UofJ.

          Can’t hide a whole pumpkin in a plate of rice.

          • 3
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            Vis,

            I am not for a moment defending the VC, stooges and the University or suggesting that they are not vastly underperforming, and possibly even grotesquely so.

            If that is the situation, then such criticisms should indeed be leveled against them directly and the deficiencies exposed as much as and as widely as possible. However, make that case pointedly and on its own merits instead of hiding under an unrelated or stretching a rather distantly related issue. What exactly is preventing this wanna-be Faculty to take that challenge more directly – is it the lack of courage or lack of ability, or both?

            Second, say, if on his recommendation, action is taken to dismiss the VC and her stooges promptly, and new admin appointments are instituted, how long do you think it would take that prescription to work through the pipeline of recruiting more capable faculty, that would then produce better graduates who would then join Jaffna’s pool of teachers and then begin improving the education bottoms up from grade school to University entrance?

            Shouldn’t the focus be to stem the erosion in education much more promptly by say seeking better grade school teachers if that is the problem, or improving the curriculum or pursuing other alternate means to the present constraints that are directly affecting the education at grade school level?

            • 0
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              Kumar R.,

              Sorry for the delay.

              “Second, say, if on his recommendation, action is taken to dismiss the VC and her stooges promptly, and new admin appointments are instituted, how long do you think it would take that prescription to work through the pipeline of recruiting more capable faculty, that would then produce better graduates who would then join Jaffna’s pool of teachers and then begin improving the education bottoms up from grade school to University entrance?”

              There will another VC, another provincial minister for education, new MPs etc but the problem in my opinion is that the rest of the “crew” will continue like before. Whoever is in charge in the future will inherit the staff that exists today. A competent leader can squeeze more out of them but we have to face the fact that the skills of the university lecturers, teachers and other government servants are limited. Most of them have 20-30 years left to retirement. A competent new leader will be unable to recruit better people if the more qualified ones never apply for the jobs. I don’t believe that we will see any kind of wave of returning professionals. I read somewhere that 1% of the NHS doctors in the UK are from Sri Lanka. Many of them are Tamils. How many have returned to Jaffna? None? What can we offer professionals who are abroad?

              “Shouldn’t the focus be to stem the erosion in education much more promptly by say seeking better grade school teachers if that is the problem, or improving the curriculum or pursuing other alternate means to the present constraints that are directly affecting the education at grade school level?”

              Yes. University is only for a very small minority. The low results of O and A levels show the decline of the system of education in the North. My observation is that during the last years the government has been pouring money on school buildings. The schools look nice but the motivation and knowledge of the teachers is low.

              The president chooses the VC. The bad VC candidates should be clearly exposed to the public and the president before it is too late.

              • 0
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                Lone Wolf,

                Round and round the mulberry tree! O.K. if that is what you like.

                “The president chooses the VC. The bad VC candidates should be clearly exposed to the public and the president before it is too late.” Yes, go ahead and initiate that.

                However, don’t let that subjugate a more urgent and critical need to begin reviving the grade school performance “RIGHT NOW AND RIGHT HERE” by other means than waiting another decade for the trickle-down to show results.

                If attending to the grade school requires “another provincial minister for education, new MPs etc” why are those changes incumbent on changing the VC.

                Keep your battle with the VC separately – let me repeat for the umpteenth time — don’t ride on the backs of the poor grade school children who will be seeking to enter the Universities this year, next year, the following year, etc.

                Jeevan’s proposal to singularly fault the VC and seek her replacement as the primary course of action only helps distract from, if not undermine, the urgent critical need at grade schools. The “trickle down” may at best help only grade school children entering the University in 2023/2024 forward, if that! Are we to give-up on grade school children preparing to sit University entrance exams over the next several years?

                VC has no say on electing Provincial Ministers or MP’s – and if as you say that is the necessary route for improving grade school performance in the near-term, shouldn’t Jeevan be championing that effort, rather than singularly focusing on the VC with a trickle-down strategy.

                Further,do you not feel the direct complains on VC’s performance, communications ability, political non-neutrality, whatever are sufficient grounds to challenge her? Why stretch Dr. Ragel’s work on grade school performance to fault the VC? Keep that battle where that belongs- else you will lose both battles! That is my fear.

                • 0
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                  Kumar R.,

                  If you read my comments carefully you will hopefully understand that I mostly agree with you. I have earlier several times disagreed with you but not this time.

  • 3
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    “academic carrier”………………….”deens”…………Ha Ha.

    One fellow who spoke atrocious English to a well read teacher was asked,
    “Where is your grammar……………”
    He replied “She died last year………………………”

    Our teachers are now low quality.
    Who will teach the teachers?

    • 0
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      Now compare that with the following:

      “What is future government policy on Aleppo?”
      “What is a Leppo?”

      Still going ha ha…?

  • 2
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    /*

    The low essay marks for Tamils shows they do not read. Exercising literacy is the key to education:

    */

    I sense that myself from my engagement with Tamils online!

    • 0
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      Careful Silva,

      I can assure you from experience down south that a good many of our Sinhalese students do not read too well either.

      They confidently display their shortcomings at interviews, and proudly credit the local ‘Man-woke-on-the-re-bijja English tutory’ with their ability.

      I am sure some of them even masquerade as Tamils online.

      • 0
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        //Man-woke-on-the-re-bijja English tutory//

        Please explain.

  • 2
    2

    Actual war was not against LTTE what we had as Tamils was education.standatitazion burnt the library drag the war for so long all for what.

    My English also bad may be caught in the systematic agenda with the help of idiotic LTTE.leave let alone English read the newspapers from Jaffna in tamil.can see the standard no more Tamil pandits (pandithar).

    If you comes to Jaffna you could see the politics from home to kovils.most of these kovils have lot of funds but can’t build it properly or manage it properly apart from gracious Nallur of course.bless muruga run by dedicated family.

    In the name of Thamil ellam LTTe have done a lot of damages.yes there are lot of success stories but damages are beyond.

  • 2
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    Before the usual “chorus” to your articles start, Thanks much. Useful.

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    Prof. Ragel, Great piece of work. You do us proud. Could serve as a good advocacy tool for the cause. Glad to note the great support you get from your own EE and CE “batchas”.

    Thevamaran, Wow! is the word. You are already great but first work to become a Full Professor there. The struggle makes you more enabled to face the battle here in Jaffna where Caltech or CMUand USC seem not to count. As for Rice, I can only hope for the best! Come here for your sabbatical year with paid salary if you need the money, and after learning on your own kids.

    By the time kids come to College, they are a nearly finished product in terms of personality and first need to unlearn many of their unproductive attitudes.

    Both of you, you need a critical mass of quality academics to effect change. Form one when you come or you will drown here.

    Best Wishes

  • 2
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    Dr Jeevan,

    “TNA’s M.A. Sumanthiran publicly said at a seminar at Jaffna’s Managers Forum that because of quality they do not have MPs to man parliamentary committees.”

    There are many Tamil MPs, NPC and PS politicians, academics and government servants who sit in different committees, commissions etc without understanding what they are supposed to do or even what they are doing. I thank Sumanthiran for what he said.

    “This in turn is because candidate nominations are given by our second grade politicians to third grade stooges without any party democracy.”

    What is the quality of the people who are willing to become politicians and lecturers? How many of the first grade talents are willing to work in Jaffna?

    When especially the youngish lecturers in Jaffna are mostly bad what is the level of the graduates? What kind of skills do the graduates show as teachers and government servants?

    “TNA MPs have no interest in our universities because their children get scholarships in India or they plan to send them to the West.”

    How many of them live in the NP and educate their children here? How many of them already have sent their children abroad? How many NP politicians and senior government servants live in rural areas with their family?

    Is Jaffna a basket case? At least there are plans to increase palliative care.

    • 0
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      Brilliance begets brilliance! Medocrity paves the way for idiocy!

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 0
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        ….and the VC of the JU happens to be an absolute personification of that quality!

  • 2
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    “First Grade people hire first grade people and surround themselves with intelligent people. Second grade people hire third grade people.”

    Jaffna now has third grade people hiring! Please give us the algorithm/equation.

  • 5
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    The war also caused brain drain among Tamils. All the best and the brightest already fled the country and are now successful in the West.

  • 5
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    As a student Roshan Ragel was most remarkable. As a teacher he is even more so. I particularly admire him for returning to the country nine years ago when the war was at its peak.

    • 3
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      Sivasegaram, Do you truly admire excellence and academics like Roshan returning to the country when the war was on? Then why do you help the Jaffna VC to keep Roshan’s teacher, Prof. Hoole out of Jaffna University so hard? Prof. Hoole can do so much and produce many more Roshan Ragels for us. He drafted our well rounded CE syllabus at Peradeniya and taught us good programming. He was like our friend. But you won’t let him be hired at Jaffna Engineering.

      You are retired, now time to think of the students. Don’t be the cats-paw for Miss Vasanthi Arasaratnam. Like she did to Prof. Balasubramaniam, who brought her from Mascon’s staff roll and took her for Ph. D degree, she will drop you one day like a hot potato.

  • 5
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    Roshan and Maran are admirable individuals, I know.

    But the theme in the article — falling education in the north and East — misses the point that university entrance and the like affect(ed) just a tiny fraction of the age group (some 8% went to university in the eighties, maybe a little more now). The vast majority were left behind without any prospect of structured training in employable skills, and declared failures by the community — arguably to a far worse extent in middle class Jaffna than in other communities in SL.

    Even during those “good old days” when Jaffna topped Ragel’s table, access to success was for a very narrow section of the Jaffna society. The toddy-tappers and fishermen of Jaffna didn’t have a chance to play a part in that success. If we broaden out and look at all Tamils of SL, then certainly the upcountry folk had no chance either. So the high academic achievement our nostalgia so readily glorifies is a little misplaced, IMHO.

    Prabhakaran has levelled the playing field in a very negative way. Rising from the ashes he reduced the community to is not easy.

    But certainly the two gentlemen named above are fantastic role models.

  • 0
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    Prof Hoole,

    Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking article.

    Let us not be pessimistic and end in a blame game.

    If there exist any who could think of out of the box solutions for the present plight,let them come forward and work as a team on a rescue mission.

    what is needed is a crisis management

  • 0
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    Just a political propaganda!

    “we have to forwarding this” before 29.12.2014” This is a low class cheap shot. The wording on the sentence is telling a lot of stories than the grammar. In fact it may even explain the slip of the grammar. How much the Sinhala government can rule the Tamils is said on the urgency expressed in that letter. The order received to draft and circulate a letters like is telling how much of respect the Sinhala government is giving to a higher education place of Tamils. These people are trying to prove it that Vasanthi’s grammar is destroying the Tamils education, not the Sinhala rulers who are using the Northern Kanangra University for their political expeditions. After 15 years of leaving EP if Chandrika can order an investigation in the Northern Kanangra University, it is more than obvious Sinhala rulers’ power to manipulate the North is unlimited. That is a temptation for VCs, Deans, Professors and lecturers to become Sinhala Masters’ Panthams and corrupt the system by muscle flexing. ow they are bring a new witness “Dr. Ramathasan Thevamaran: A Star in the Dark Sky” (I do not understand the basis of the certification of “Star in the Dark Sky” – after all he is still in Texas as per the essay- Texas is a Dark Sky?). Is that also a “Veelikku Oonan Saatchi”?

    Everybody knows what is happening. The uniformed Aava Kzhulu is bringing a cultural revolution in the North. Palali Teacher Training College is not yet released by the Rapist Army. These guys are not writing a sentence on those matters. They are continuing to dig into the Jaffna University, VC Vasanthi Arasaratnam and TNA only to boast their political influence in the South. Shallow minded petties!

    From 1948 Tamils’ education was destroyed by Appe Aandu, not by TNA’s disinterest. Nationalization of Education, Sinhala Only, Swabhasha, Standardization and Occupying School to harbor the Rapist army all were only to destroy the Tamils’ education.

    When Britain allowed private education system is only North was shining in education; never anytime under Appe Aandu’s Modaya and Coolies administration. Ambassador Robert Blake pressed Lankawe to open up the Higher Education for private sector. In the West and in India all the well doing Universities are Private ones. The Kanangra Northern University cannot be fixed by NPC as the purpose it was to make Tamils Modayas. Western universities should be allowed to open their branches in the North for competition to come there. In that time Nobody has to beg “Dr. Ramathasan Thevamaran: A Star in the Dark Sky” come and serve to Jaffna. Birds will fly to the lake where the water has not dried out.

    • 0
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      “Birds will fly to the lake where the water has not dried out.”

      TGTE cares so much for the Tamils back home!

      Thevamaran is not a bird brained cuckoo.

      Some humans are glad to sacrifice for the underprivileged especially their own kind, in this case Tamils left behind. Some go further.

      “Kanangra” is “Kanangra” because of the brilliant Rev. Darrell. Darrell took him in to his school free. The good gesture was multiplied by your Kanangra.

      Each man must choose for himself.

      • 0
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        Know something about Ceylon first. Then try find out other things. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

        Nationalisation is different Free education different. Please learn those two different words in English. Don’t confuse them with your half baked PhD.

        Education – Tuition was free always in Jaffna. Always facility fees paid in Jaffna schools. Hostels And Boardings have to paid. Christian- Catholic schools charged tuition fees too – Mainly for other religious students. Schools were built and maintained by Tamil Philanthropists free for students’ benefits. Those Tamils have been not trying to put money in their pockets by the Appe Andu appointed coolies.

        Kanangra abolished English education system in Nationalised schools. Then he built Central colleges to Sinhalese. Tamils books ended written by Gnanam Modayas instead of academics. CV has been asking to allow them to use UNESCO’s help to redesign these books. But the Gnanam are forcing the Tamils kids to study the beastility stories.

        Know something of what happened and what is happening in the country rather being pantham to fill up your pocket. First talk to your masters and remove the ban on TGTE. Then they will start to worry about the people over there. They are operating legally registered in 15 countries where law and order upheld democratically. Not one single one of their members are war crime accused. Your country’s head New King, Ministers, MPs and many defense heads are openly accused of war crime in the OISL’s abandoned report. You can start to learn those after you come to know about past and present of Jaffna education system.

        • 0
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          “rather being pantham to fill up your pocket. “

          Man in which age are you living? TNA is the opposition. It has a share of appointments.

          Fill up your pocket? Professor Hoole?

          M you don’t know Jaffna at all or the Tamil issues here. Besides LTTE in power will wipe out even the last traces of education by going for the puththi jeevigal.

          Kalviya? Selvama? Veerama?

          We choose KAlvi.

    • 0
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      Mr Mallaiyuran

      You talk like the LTTE propaganda machine here and abroad, assigned to justify the impending assassination of a brave and true academic or any of their campus students talking human rights-written full of murderous anger and baseless lies to justify their impending murders. Intimidation and assassinations and lamp post killings with ice cream men parked around and timed for tender school children to come out and watch. It only works with the poorest of the poor without an education. The LTTE propaganda machine is worse than Hitler’s. All the blood that could be spilt is spilt.

      “Where is Vijitharan?” -Do you remember?

      Now you don’t want to start that again.

  • 3
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    The comparison of Performance in 1980 and now is not valid because the socio- economic and political conditions are not the same. Between 1980 and 2016 there have been lot of factors contributed to the Performance of Education. The most important factor is the civil war, destruction of educational infrastructure, migration of the Tamil population and loss of resources and skills, uncertainty of the future and continued political instability etc. Further, the investment in Education by the state in the rest of the regions and the increased level of income and the recognition of the importance of education in South helped South to grow faster than in the North. Under these circumstances, the 3rd and fifth places in Engineering and Medicine in the Northern Province should be appreciated. North East still in the first place if you consider the achievement of the children of the migrated Tamil population around the world.It is time for us encourage the education and it is our duty to help the North and East to stand on its own in economic and social development.

  • 0
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    True! Even in One Singapore, now analyses are done based on ethnic lines. But during Lee Kuan Yews time no such analyses were heard of although it may have been secretly conducted for the knowledge of Mr. Lee Snr because otherwise Mr. Lee wouldn’t have introduced certain reforms involving massive language training, bilingual Singpore and so on.

    I also note that similar analyses in the education sector were performed for the pre-1980 era in fact way back in 1970’s. Such analyses as interpreted by the then authorities resulted in District Quota, standardisation of marks etc. The resulting action as well as the analyses were condemned as racially motivated which introduced an erosion in the ethnic harmony.

    I commend Dr. Ragel for performing the research and as well as his guru for publishing the same in this web page for all of us to know what is going on. I am for promoting ethnic harmony and as well as for serving the under-privilledged with preference. I only hope that these findings would not be mis-interpreted as one trying to promote the interests of a particular ethnic group.

    The thirty year old war too has contributed to the transformation of Jaffna, now bereft of many good aspects it had in the past. Yet by and large it has an orderly society, which we all must appreciate, although now it has a lot of wayward youth and certain anti-social elements are on the rise. The local leaders seem not to speak in terms of addressing those aspects, although they are vocal on other aspects, which in turn contributes to the level in education levels and subsequently poor performances in admissions, entrance tests etc. In conclusion may I say that local leaders in Jaffna must take a greater interest in their young for them to grow well.

  • 2
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    Congratulations on the achievements of the people mentioned by Dr. Hoole; they studied/worked under conditions of war and deserve our kudos.

    That said, as others have noted, excellence in education should start from strong elementary schools; more investments should be made in K-12 education.

    Also, given the war and its aftermath, many students may have developed various neurological and psychological disorders. Teachers should try to understand such issues and try to find ways to accommodate and address their needs. Some may need counseling or more medical attention. This may be particularly important in the case of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged households, due to poverty, caste oppression and the like.

    • 2
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      Few school children are now carrying trauma. In a survey by Plan International, I have seen school children coping better than adults as early as a month after the tsunami.

      “more investments should be made in K-12 education.”

      Government funds are distributed equally to all schools but the problem is that NE schools/staff/management do not have the capacity to accept/retain/use resources. The teachers were more dedicated in the Vanni than in Moneragala, even though we are showing same stats.

      While at Save the Children I was privileged to lead a comparative study of resources and the allocation of WHO funded resources by the Ed. Department.It interviewed 5000 school children grades 4-6, their parents and teachers. Looks like no amount of money will help if the teachers fail/are unable to use the resources for many principals lock them up for fear of loosing stuff and fear that Rs. would be deducted from salaries etc.Displaced schools and many schools in the Vanni area during Mrs. Kumaratunge’s presidencey did not have buildings to take in resources and the resources were sent back. May be newer studies exist.

      The teachers were allocated to do managerial work because the admin did not have the capacity.

      Capacity building of blocks of teachers in K-12 below to Grade 9 etc..by capable people is needed in addition to money. Mr. Thandayuthapani should be able to help in this regard for he seems to have it in his blood to work with teachers.

      The children are bored by the limitations of Isurupaya texts and the sage-on the stage approach of many teachers. Teacher training should be revisited for effective learning. At-risk areas need special training. May be all the Tamil retired teachers abroad can give a hand. The students I volunteered to teach at a private school here seemed so eager to look at American school and college books where the diagrams are almost self explanatory. They were speaking to my son in English the best way they could. Their curiosity paralleled that of the best kids in the US. Sadly the libraries at even the best private schools in the Tamil areas keep cheap Tamil periodicals and baby stories from India, all in baby Tamil, out on the racks locking up the better ones. The students don’t know what to ask for. Better library assistance by volunteer graduates will go a long way.

      Tamil People abroad who have had the privilege of a better education in our schools should come over and sit with them for a little while talking and explaining their grandchildren’s books, demonstrating the use of science kits and other learning resources. The thing needed is for them to talk and think about what is out there. These can be one luggage of 2 or can be shipped from Toronto, NY etc in medium cardboard boxes for much less than US $100.

      Senior citizens welcome. You will enjoy time with our kids. Every morning I hear them on their way to school, talking and arguing and joking about a lot of things very smartly. This is a part of the Joy of Jaffna you are missing.

      However only those children awaiting public exam results have the time to interact. Tuition is killing their analytical skills. This is becoming the weakest area. Skills like solving “nody”/puzzles, mental math etc., like our parent’s friends used to ask us on visits in the old days, would also help. Books catching their interest and conversation with educated people re relevant DIY projects had been cut off for many years. These are the best gifts one can give Tamil children.

      Akaram could help with a survey of schools for resources/capacity etc. It is a learning component in Educational Rights. Prof. Hoole’s students participated as enumerators/statisticians in the Save the Children school survey and he would be able to access the publication produced for viewing. These children are our future.

      • 0
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        DH,

        Thanks.
        Many expatriates can’t get involved at a micro level or visit there, but contribute to charities like Manitha Neyam. Although it is not focused on religion, there is one Swami Thondunathan in the US who visits the North-East to distribute children’s books, etc. on behalf of such charities. There is another one like SJC87 Class Initiative who do the same. I will tell people here about your observations.

      • 0
        0

        DH,

        Thank you for the comment.

        “Few school children are now carrying trauma. In a survey by Plan International, I have seen school children coping better than adults as early as a month after the tsunami.”

        The staff here is likely to have suffered more serious trauma than the children.

        “Government funds are distributed equally to all schools but the problem is that NE schools/staff/management do not have the capacity to accept/retain/use resources.”

        I also suspect that there is a problem with the skills and motivation of the staff in the NP schools. Who is going to work with them? Do the sinking results not interest our leaders?

  • 2
    1

    There is no point of talking about politicians. Come on, can Anyone analysis the quality of the University of Jaffna Lecturers? Main reason, Jaffna is getting back in Education is LECTURERS of the University of Jaffna. Most of them are money oriented. Some of them really feel and work for the community education. Especially Arts Faculty is failure in many views.

    Dr. Thevamaran, If you come and talk to the lecturers of the UoJ in English then you will not feel about the students’ writing way in English. How many lecturer are in the capacity of delivering lectures in English. How many are working in the sense of developing the community and build the next generation.

    I was working as a probationary lecturer in the Dept. of Maths & Stats for Seven months and then resigned by so many distrubance by the Dept Staff. Also I was punished by a Senior Lecturer in the Department meeting that no one talks to any of the students. Lecturers works are only in the class. Not in other time. See the sense of him and it was even accepted by the Head who is the present Dean of the Faculty. Then, how the UoJ will grow and the community will develop. Many lecturer must be taught foreign exposure. Sorry UoJ!

    • 1
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      Thanks to Prof Hoole for writing this and letting the public know what’s happening at various levels of education.

      Thanks to Gobinath for giving us a glimpse into the quality of UoJ lecturers.

      I have also been talking with a few lecturers recently from various departments. They all need to improve their English which will gradually improve them in other areas.

    • 0
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      Have you any reason to believe Jaffna is worse than other SL universities in terms of standards of English and maintaining a hierarchical attitude?

  • 0
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    It is very useful forthe prsent students to compare the talent in 1980 and now in 2016.
    Time, talent, energy,facilities and even brain is there but most of them are unaware of it.
    Thanks for the reports

  • 1
    1

    ‘Well planned strategy to make children drug addicts’ – Jaffna District Child Development Committee
    Writing to Sri Lanka’s Deputy Inspector General of the police office last month, the committee stated that there was a rising crime rate in Jaffna, with school children involved in violence and crimes.

    Noting that illegal liquor sales “continue unabated” across Jaffna, the letter also stated that people have arrived from other districts and are using children for begging as well as being involved in child molestation.

    http://tamilguardian.com/content/%E2%80%98well-planned-strategy-make-children-drug-addicts%E2%80%99-jaffna-district-child-development?articleid=14893

  • 0
    0

    Blame it on Prabhakaran ..for the generation lost

    • 1
      0

      Why blame only their Donkey God. All 330 million are responsible.

      • 1
        0

        330 million What? Poya?

  • 1
    3

    No my Tamil friends, the problem is in the number of Gods you guys worship – 330,000,000. You, my Tamil friends, are known for your mathematical skills acquired by counting money, although that figure of 40,000 (you know what) in the final days was out by at least a margin of 100. But then everyone knows your skills in changing facts to figures.

    Try calculating yourselves. Even if you spend 10 microseconds for each God per day, it is 3.3 billion microseconds = 55 minutes. Perhaps, you can trim that a bit by allocating less time for those monkey and donkey Gods. But still, in my humble opinion, it is a huge waste of time.

    Then there is the Bhagavad Gita, How any young person can read all that porn daily and concentrate on other books is beyond my imagination, unless they are suffering from erectile dysfunction. Then there are the Bhajans, coconut bashings, Siva Lingams one has to attend to. The list is endless.

    On the other hand, our guys spending so little time in Pan Sil daily, added to the fact that there are no official photographic books that are compulsory, is a real advantage.

    Your guys are handicapped from the time they say OM.

    • 3
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      I think they dont have enough gods compared to other old civilization, such as Greek. This rich tradition should be well preserved from invasion from saffron trannies from the south.

  • 1
    3

    At last they are into education.

    A nice diversion from bomb making and suicide bombers.

    I never thought Tamils could make the transition.

    • 1
      0

      It was hard. But Chinese $18 billion commission did it at last, the same way Indian army made the JVP to take books in south by working with Richard P. Now Tamils will too be qualified to join the Colombo Circus caged monkeys to be part in Lanasta Tahjudin….

  • 2
    0

    You are full of shit. In one post you say: Tamils are into Tribalism, now you say they went through transition to be educated.

    The fact is you do not know what is tribalism. You must have heard the word somewhere. You think its a cool word to be using. That is what happen when make a Muslim woman study. The UN investing so much to preserve tribalism. I wish the tribalism in sri lanka is still preserved like the way its preserved i neighboring Andaman

    The one thing I agree is that Tamils are not into suicide bombing. The only religion in the world who are into suicide bombing is …… (fill in the blanks)

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