The Tamil Nadu (TN) government will send over one hundred Bachelor of Science (Bsc) degree holders to Sri Lanka to fill in teaching vacancies at Tamil medium schools in the estate sector, State Minister of Education V. Radhakrishnan said.
The Minister said the decision was made by the TN government in line with a request made by the Sri Lankan government. The proposal is to be discussed further during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit this week.
The proposal was made by the government to the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka to bring down over one hundred Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree holders from Tamil Nadu to fill in vacancies for Tamil medium teachers in estate schools, he said.
Speaking to Daily Mirror, the Minister said there were 844 estate schools in the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Uva, Southern and Western provinces which had a scarcity of Tamil medium teachers for subjects such as science, mathematics and English.
“These are our people who fled the country in 1983/84 and who are now living in Tamil Nadu. We found many of their children are BSc degree holders. In addition to them, the Tamil Nadu government has agreed to send additional teachers to fill in these vacancies. They also promised to bear the cost of their salary. The government has to provide accommodation for the teachers,” he said.
State Minister Radhakrishnan said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had instructed him to resolve issues in the estate sector with the help of the Indian government.
Meanwhile, trade unions in the education sector criticized the State Minister’s move to seek BSc graduates from Tamil Nadu to fill in the vacancies. Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) Secretary Joseph Stalin said the State Minister’s move to bring down teachers from Tamil Nadu was questionable.
“We are not against India. But there are large numbers of Tamil graduates in Ampara, Batticaloa and Jaffna who are demanding the government provide them with employment. The National Colleges in the country also have the authority to award a BSc degree under the 1987 National College Act number 30,” he said.
The vacancies could be filled in by increasing the number of Tamil students in the National Colleges and generating the Tamil Speaking Teacher population.
The graduates from the Northern and Eastern provinces were insufficient to fill in the vacancies and many were not BSc graduates, the State Minister countered. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)