Unsolved problems: Teachers smack Education Minister

By Dasun Edirisinghe

JVP led-Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) yesterday said that the incumbent government had failed to address the problems in the teachers’ service was faced with in spite of a promise to do so months back.

CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayansinghe told The Island that Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga government had, in 1994, established the teachers’ service as in keeping with one of its election promises, but successive governments had failed address teachers’ grievances during the last 18 years or so.

"All governments after 1994, have taken us for ride without honouring their promises," he said. The present Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam was emulating his predecessors, he added.

Almost one year had passed since the introduction of the new Teachers’ Service Minute, but the Ministry had failed to effect transfers, promotion or pay salary arrears in keeping with it, so far, Jayasinghe said.

He said that there was a policy governing teachers’ transfers, but it was not heeded and teachers were transferred in a haphazard manner.

Jayasinghe said that the present government, too, had curtailed funds for schools and continued with the despicable practice of collecting money from parents purportedly for school maintenance. "This government, too, has not paid difficult area allowance to teachers and principals," Jayasinghe said, adding that it had also failed to address grievances of trainees at the National Colleges of Education countrywide.

Jayasinghe said that his union wanted to have a discussion with the Education Minister immediately to seek solutions to teachers’ problems and the minister had been requested to grant its representatives an appointment.

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, contacted for comment, said that he was ready to discuss the problems of teachers with trade unionists.

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