Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) today charged that Western Province Education Minister Ranjith Somawansa had ordered the Provincial Education Director to add another classroom to grade one in 21 schools located in Western Province to facilitate the whims of provincial council members.
Provincial Minister Somawansa had reportedly instructed the Western Provincial Education Director to add one more class room because of the congestion in grade one class rooms in 21 selected schools.
However, the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) raised a question as to why another class room is to be added to schools that are identified as being congested.
“I have received many requests from my provincial council members claiming that there are many children who were being deprived of their schooling due to the congestion that exists in grade one class rooms. According to the court order, the number of students in grade one cannot exceed 40. Therefore, several selected schools will be chosen for this upgrade,” Provincial Minister Somawansa had stated in the letter.
CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin charged that the decision had been taken to admit children whose parents had paid kickbacks to provincial council members.
Ashoka Vidyalaya- Colombo 8, Dharmapala Primary School Kottawa, Horana Thakshila Maha Vidyalaya, Nugegoda Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya and Yasodara Devi Balika Maha Vidyalaya Gampaha were mentioned as being among the 21 schools chosen for this purpose.
When inquired by the Daily Mirror, Provincial Minister Somawansa’s Private Secretary S. A. Liyanage said that the letter prepared to be sent by the provincial minister to the Provincial Education Director had 'gone missing' before it was finalised.
He said Mr. Somawansa had called for an inquiry to investigate as to how the letter was leaked to the public. (Piyumi Fonseka)