NCP teachers to boycott schools over extension of working hours

By Dasun Edirisinghe

Teachers attached to government schools in the North-Central Province will boycott schools tomorrow against Provincial Education Minister Peshala Jayaratne’s decision to conduct examinations on Saturdays. They also oppose the lengthening of school sessions to 3.00 p.m.

General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union Mahinda Jayasinghe told The Island that those decisions were taken without any scientific study and would be harmful to children’s minds.

"We are entitled to hold school session for only six hours per day and it is illegal to extend it," he claimed.

Jayasinghe said that according to the 2006/26 circular, the teachers should work six hours from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., but the provincial education minister was violating those regulations by directing that school sessions be from 8.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. 

He said that students too suffered from overwork according to the educational psychologists.

 "We will not work till 3:00 p.m. and on Saturdays," Jayasinghe said.

The Island made several unsuccessful attempts to contact North-Central Province Education Minister Peshawar Jayaratne and the Ministry Secretary. We were told they were at a meeting.

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