Schools closed for teachers to attend political events – JVP

They were educational development meetings – SPC minister

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) claims that some schools were closed earlier in the Hambantota District on Tuesday so that teachers could attend a political meeting organized by the ruling UPFA in view of elections to the Hambantota Municipal Council and Pradeshiya Sabha.

CTSU General Secretary, Mahinda Jayasinghe told The Island that all 23 schools in the Hambantota Education Division and five schools in the Ambalantota Education Division had been closed at 12 noon on Tuesday by the Southern Province Education Minister, Chandima Rasaputhra.

"About 500 teachers attached to those schools were sent to a UPFA meeting at the Singapore Hall, Hambantota," Jayasinghe said accusing the SPC Education Minister of having done so on a number occasions in the past. He claimed that schools in the Kotapola Education Division in the Matara District had also been closed for teachers to attend what he called a political meeting.

Minister Rasaputhra, when contacted by The Island for comment, denied allegations levelled by the pro – JVP trade union. He said teachers had attended an education develop programme conducted by the provincial education ministry. "We are planning to conduct this programme in all 39 educational zones in the Southern Province and we have already covered 30 zones so far," Rasaputhra said.

The Minister said those meetings were held to discuss issues in the education sector such as teachers’ transfers and children’s performance in the presence of the ministry officials and teachers.

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