I assured there would be no extra cost: Edu Minister

8 July 2019 04:28 pm - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Former Acting Commissioner General of Education Publications, I.M.K.B. Ilangasinghe had told and assured Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam that there will be no extra cost adding on by inserting the Minister’s coloured photo and the signature into school textbooks from 2018, Minister Kariyawasam told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate Corruption of the Current Administration today.

Earlier, Mr. Ilangasinghe informed the Commission that Minister Kariyawasam had insisted him to include his photograph when printing school textbooks considering the Minister’s future well being and existence. He told the Commission that the Minister had privately spoken to him about including a colour photograph of him in school text books.

When the matter came up before the PCoI, Minister Kariyawasam had denied the particular statement and said that Mr. Ilangasinghe had assured him by showing the coloured photos of previous education ministers which had been included in textbooks. The Minister said that the Ministry’s media unit had also consulted Mr. Ilangasinghe on adding his photo to textbooks.

"The only thing I asked was would this cost us more and Mr. Ilangasinghe said there will be no extra cost. So if there was no extra cost and if there was a precedent, I thought there would be no problem," he said.

However Chairperson of the Commission, retired Supreme Court Justice Upali Abeyrathne inquired from Minster Kariayawasam whether there were previous occasions where a colour photo of the Minister was included in text books. Responding to the question the Minister said that Mr. Ilangasinghe had showed him several previous textbooks which indicated a colour photo of the Minister, but the Minister had failed to show any proof of those textbooks to the Commission.

"You have presented a number of publications to the CID to support your claim last week. But none of them are textbooks. They are examination questions and model answer books. There is a difference between textbooks and questions and model answer books," PCoI Chairman Abeyaratne said at the Commission.

Minister Kariyawasam said that he was assured by the former Acting Commissioner of Education Publications that this has been a practice. "There are so many publications by the Ministry and I don't have the time to go through all. If an official-in-charge assures me of something, I go by their word," he said.

The Minister also informed the Commission that Mr. Ilangasinghe might bear a grudge against him because he had started an internal inquiry against him when he served as a Director of the Supply Unit. He added that Mr. Ilangasinghe does not have the experience to make such a statement to the Commission.

The Minister said he had no intention of boosting his image and that he was also assured by the two senior secretaries, Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, Tissa Hewawithana and Secretary to the Ministry, W. M. Bandusena, that there would be no additional costs by inserting his photo.

The Minister also highlighted that the decision to insert his photo and signature was taken in 2015, for 2016 text books. However the Attorney General's Department officials leading evidence showed him text books from 2016 and 2017 and there was no photograph of the Minister. The colour photo and signature only appears in books from 2018. (Yoshitha Perera)

 

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  Comments - 3

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  • Dr W.Katugampola Tuesday, 09 July 2019 01:18 AM

    Why should a ministers photograph appear on a educational textbook l fail to understand. This is a practice from communist ideology.If it had appeared in my time as a student in SriLanka l would not hesitate to use it as a toilet paper.

    Jude Tuesday, 09 July 2019 03:14 AM

    Why he's so adamant to have his photo on textbooks !!??? Well, C.W.W.Kannangara photo would be more appropriate, since the Millennial Generation don't know about him and his contribution to lankan education system!!!

    RuwanL Tuesday, 09 July 2019 07:03 AM

    Without cost you cant do anything! what a con artist!


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