Delay in enrolment at AHS faculty, Peradeniya
UGC blames GMOA

Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) and the Health authorities should take the responsibility for the undue delay in enrolment at the Allied Health Sciences Faculty of the University of Peradeniya.

Undergraduates of the Peradeniya Allied Health Science Faculty launched a Satyahraha opposite the UGC in protest against the delayed enrolment.

Prof. Samaranayake said that the university administration had been compelled to close as the health authorities refused to provide facilities for AHS students’ clinical work at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital.

When the dispute evolved into a legal wrangle, the court held that relevant authorities discuss the issue before enrolling the fourth batch of students to the AHS faculty. Accordingly, the UGC commenced discussion with the health authorities to provide clinical facilities for AHS students.

Prof. Samaranayake said: "Clinical practices of the Peradeniya AHS students had to be suspended owing to a series of protests by the GMOA. The court ordered that clinical studies commence after a discussion with the Health authorities. Discussions were in progress with the participation of officials from the Higher Education Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Peradeniya University and the GMOA. Now, we are awaiting a decision by the GMOA."

The UGC Chairman said undergraduates were protesting against the UGC for the delay as they feared no more students would be enrolled for the AHS course at Peradeniya. "We could solve the problem and there is no need for anyone to panic, Prof. Samaranayake said, "the UGC has allocated 165 slots for the fourth intake at the Peradeniya Allied Health Sciences Faculty."

There are six Allied Health Sciences Faculties in the country, at the Kelaniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Ruhuna, Jaffna, Eastern and Peradeniya Universities. About 460 students have been admitted to those faculties this year.

President of the Students’ Council of the Peradeniya University responsible for the on-going Satyagraha, Sanjaya Bandara, said they had decided to protest opposite the UGC as there had been no response from the University of Peradeniya.

Dr Chandana Atapattu, Assistant Secretary of the GMOA contacted for comment said that he needed more time to comment on the issue.

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