The application submitted by the Batticaloa Campus to provide local degrees was rejected by the Higher Education Ministry on April 5, 2019, due to the failure of the institute's authorities to prove its independent financial viability to manage the campus, it was informed on Thursday at the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission, Additional Secretary attached to the Higher Education Ministry Kamal Rohitha Uduwawala said that the details pertaining to foreign funds which the Batticaloa Campus had received amounting to Rs. 5 billion, had been received at the Ministry by a Parliament Committee, after the Easter Sunday attacks, .
“In the application, the officials of the Batticaloa Campus had not given the details regarding the foreign funds received to the campus. The officials of the campus had obtained these financial assistance as soft loans and the ministry had received these details in June 2019 through a Parliament Sectorial Oversight Committee,” the witness said.
Responding to a question posed by the Commissioners, Mr. Uduwawala said that former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizubullah, his son and officials attached to the campus management had participated in the meetings held by the Ministry of Higher Education with regard to the matter.
The witness further informed the Commission that the Jamiah Naleemiah Islamic Institute, Beruwala also had not registered as an institute to provide local degrees under the Higher Education Ministry.
“According to the registration criteria to provide a local degree, the particular institution has to conduct at least one programme related to Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. We called this the STEM concept. But the Jamiah Naleemiah Islamic Institute only has the Bachelor of Arts and Islamic studies degree programme, and that was an issue to decline to register the institute as a local degree provider” he said. (Yoshitha Perera)