When printing school textbooks for 2018 and 2019, the Education Ministry had included a message of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam along with his photograph and it had incurred considerable loss to the government, it was observed at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) to investigate the corruption of the current administration yesterday.
Commissioner of General Education Publications Jayantha Wickramanayake informed the Commission that in 2018 the government had published over 18 million copies of textbooks, costing over Rs. 2 billion. He also noted that in 2019 the Government had published almost 39 million copies of textbooks at a cost of Rs.3.4 billion to print the books.
He identified that the Education Minister had included a photograph to his message in 2018/2019 and this was the first time in the history, that the subject Minister had added his photograph to the textbooks.
“Before printing the school textbooks the procedure had been checked by different procurement committees and we are presenting several documents to the bidders to analyze the procedure in a more efficient manner,” Mr. Wickramanayake informed the Commission.
He also notified that during the 52 day Government last year, then Education Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had instructed the former Commissioner of General Education Publications to remove the message of the Education Minister from textbooks. “Accordingly the message had been removed in 840,000 textbooks which were published for 2019,” he said. (Yoshitha Perera)