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Higher Education Ministry responds

14 September 2011 07:00 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Higher Education Ministry yesterday dismissed allegations by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) and assured that the medical faculties of local universities countrywide would not be hampered by legalising of the private medical university in Malabe.

Higher Education Ministry consultant and former University Grants Commission (UGC) Vice Chairman Rohan Rajapakse said the ministry intends to increase facilities for universities countrywide through a World Bank grant meant solely for the purpose of developing tertiary education in Sri Lanka.

Prof. Rajapakse maintained that the private medical institute in Malabe was a legitimate institution which had the legal right to continue functioning in Sri Lanka. He said the Universities Act of 1978 gives the Higher Education Ministry the degree granting the right to any institution and that therefore the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) was a legal institution although the GMOA has stated otherwise. Rajapakse said it is not necessary for medical lecturers to pass the Act16 exam as it is not mandatory for them to be practising doctors to be recruited into the academic staff. “The Ministry and the UGC have recognised the importance of developing universities. Therefore no one can say we haven’t given enough attention to these matters. Therefore the accusations made by the GMOA are incorrect,” he said.

He said local university lecturers valued their jobs and would not choose to take up full-time positions in private institutions despite such claims being made by the GMOA. However lectures are encouraged to take their sabbatical to work in private institutions, he said. Through the World Bank grant better facilities will be made available to the Jaffna, Eastern and South Eastern universities in the first category of tertiary education development plans, he said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)

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  Comments - 7

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  • Tharuka Thursday, 15 September 2011 05:01 AM

    Medical faculties in Sri Lankan unversities maintain good quality even though, they have lack of physical facilities. However,it is rich with human resources. Due to set up of many private medical college (PMC), these lecturers have to work their. Because, these private universities do not like to have full time faculty members. Then, visiting lectureres can not maintain good quality standard in PMC. Even, they do not have enough time to do research and quality teaching in state universities. This leads to degrade both PMC and state universities. There should be law to pass avoide state university lectureres as visiting lecturers during weekdays and setup limit for maximum hours of work in PMC. This should be introduced other faculties as well.

    Ananda Thursday, 15 September 2011 06:03 AM

    I cannot believe how jealous, selfish and narrow minded our Drs, GMOA and everybody who is against the Private Medical School in Sri Lanka. Dont they know at least there will be a good bunch of Drs graduating and huge amount of money that the country can save which may go to Singapore, Malaysia and India otherwise.
    PMC should go ahead !

    RF Thursday, 15 September 2011 06:37 AM

    Don't these remarks apply equally to those protesting government doctors working part time in private hospitals?

    SAW Thursday, 15 September 2011 06:53 PM

    Government hospital doctors work in private hospitals only during off-duty. Your argument is not applicable here.

    Kumara Friday, 16 September 2011 01:59 AM

    GMOA doctors are not reasonable in this case. If they don't want lecturers working part time in PMC the same should apply to doctors who do channel service in lunch hour, evening. They could argue that is their free time but they are not getting adequate rest which will have an impact on patients.
    In my youth I opposed the setting up of PMC (Ragama). Though I am not in medical profession some of my friends who attended the first PMC are good doctors now, though some didn't have marks closer to Medicine cut off mark from Colombo (most of them got bio science at least from Colombo). That shows everything cannot be determined by the A/L marks.
    World population is getting older. We need more doctors. If one cannot find work in Sri Lanka they will eventually find work some where else. For instance, there large number of Indian doctors doing well in USA. We should not be shutting the door to good opportunities for our people.

    Viraj Hewage Thursday, 15 September 2011 09:59 AM

    Well done ministry of higher education . Thinking ahead moving forward.


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