In the backdrop of several instances of political meddling within the education sector, the Steering Committee for Inquiring about the Education Sector of Sri Lanka, has proposed for educational reforms free of political agendas.
The Steering Committee which comprises of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA), the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) and the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) has also emphasized upon large-scale public participation for future educational reforms, if the system is to rid itself of the current chaos surrounding the sector.
“We reiterate and emphasize the need for educational reform that is free from political agendas,” the joint statement signed by Dr. R U Halwatura of FUTA, Joseph Starlin of CTU and Mahinda Jayasinghe of CTSU said.
The committee was formed as an initiative to find suitable solutions to the burning issues faced by the Sri Lankan education system at present. At the inaugural meeting of committee held on the 22 March 2016 at the University of Kelaniya, the discussion centred around several key points, including;
• The public is ignorant of the Government’s policy or vision on education which leads to uncertainties about the same
• These uncertainties have led to the creation of weaknesses and ambiguities which have developed into a force that is slowing the development of the education system
• The importance of educating the public and other stakeholders about the National Education Policy in a context where all educational reforms of the past have failed
• The risk of the public adopting erroneous and baseless practices due to failed educational reforms
• Uncertainties about the role and responsibilities of prominent institutes engaged in the formation of educational policy such as the National Education Commission (NEC) and the National Institute of Education (NIE) in a social context where there is an incomplete and unclear understanding about the Government’s educational policy
“The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations, the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union and the Ceylon Teachers’ Union jointly propose that large-scale public participation forms the foundation for future educational reforms if the system is to rid itself of the said chaos surrounding it. We also reiterate and emphasize the need for educational reform that is free from political agendas and are hopeful of further alliances with other progressive groups truly interested in this venture,” the statement added.
The statement comes in the wake of continuous political meddling by Minister of Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella who made several political appointments by contravening regulations.