Thirteen Teachers’ Trade Unions (TTU) including Sri Lanka Teachers’ Union (SLTU) yesterday confirmed their support to the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) in the campaign to abolish the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).
As a trade union which represents over 228,000 of teachers and principals, SLTU Secretary Joseph Stalin said that the entire government work force opposed the government’s twisted resolution on the SAITM issue.
“After the Unity government came in to power they issued a circular on 28th January and started collecting money from the students and gradually privatize the Education system. In the 2017 budget they have given 44 private schools to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs to monitor them which is clearly a step to legalize them,” he said.
He further said that on behalf of the SAITM, the Sectorial oversight committee had proposed to provide clinical facilities in the hospitals at Nuwara Eliya, Horana, Wathupitiwala and Gampaha.
“Why the government can’t start a medical faculty in Sabaragamuwa University? To do so, they have to change the Rathnapura Hospital to a teaching hospital which has fewer facilities,” he said.
He said that the Minister of Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella recently stated that he would bring another three more private institutions like SAITM.
However, Mr. Stalin said that even though the minister was boasting about opening another three private institutions, he would finally have to close down the SAITM as well.
He said that the entire teachers’ body would not leave the university students alone to steer the fight against the government for shutting down the institution. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)