52 Jaffna schools still occupied by SLA

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 April 2003, 01:36 GMT]
Continued occupation of fifty-two government schools in Jaffna district by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and delay by the officials of the Education Ministry to fill the more than six thousand Tamil medium teacher vacancies in northeast schools, are causing irreparable damage to Tamil children’s education in Jaffna, said General Secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teacher’s Union (CTTU) , Mr.T.Mahasivam, addressing a press briefing Thursday held at Navalar Government School in Jaffna.

"Audio and video cassettes supplied to Tamil medium schools under the cultural programme are only in Sinhala. Some video cassettes depicting Kandyan dance have been supplied to Tamil schools," Mr. Mahasivam further said.

Surreptitious attempts to distort Tamil people’s history are also pervasive in Government issued school books, Mahasivam added.

The Asian Development Bank funded National Institute of Education (NIE) functioning under the line ministry of education is preparing textbooks only in Sinhala language for Sinhalese students. The NIE has not taken any steps to improve the Tamil medium education. To develop Tamil medium education, a separate branch of National Institute of Education should be set up for the northeast province, Mr.Mahasivam said.

He said the Ministry of Education is filling non-academic vacancies that exist in Tamil medium schools in other provinces with Sinhalese personnel.

Mr.Mahasivam said there is no need for obtaining legal advice of the Attorney General in granting permanency to about one thousand Tamil medium volunteer teachers in the northeast.

The CTTU would launch a trade union action crippling the education administration in the northeast if the government fails to grant permanent appointment to about one thousand Tamil medium volunteer teachers before the end of this month, he warned.

Out of the more than 25 thousand teaching positions in the Northeast province only 19 thousand teachers are working in the Northeast school system.


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