The Education Ministry has decided to go ahead with the much-criticized ‘Suraksha Student Insurance scheme’ and the voucher system for school uniforms introduced by the Yahapalana government.
Accordingly, Education Minister Dulles Alahapperuma has said the Suraksha Insurance Scheme will continue further to pay compensation to 4.5 million school children and Samanera bhikkhus (novice monks) at Pirivenas and for the students who study at international schools when they get hospital treatment for injuries and diseases and in the event of a death.
Minister Alahapperuma says that there was no truth to the claim that insurance companies refuse to pay compensations under this scheme and requested to provide the correct student registration number of the school, enumeration number of the student and copy of the passbook of the student when claims are made. In the event of the death of a parent, a certified copy of the passbook of the parent must be attached to the documents submitted for claims.
The Education Ministry has identified 62 private hospitals islandwide for students covered by the Suraksha Insurance scheme for treatment all students who are qualified to be covered by the insurance scheme have been issued with an insurance card.
All students at government and private schools in the age between 5 and 21 years are qualified for insurance claim under this scheme.
They are paid up to Rs. 200,000 each for a serious diseases or permanent disability and Rs.150,000 for a death. Proportionate compensation would be paid according to the seriousness of other diseases and injuries.
Meanwhile, the Education Ministry has spent Rs. 2,900 million to issue uniform vouchers for school children in 2020.
The value of vouchers varies from Rs. 440 to Rs. 1,800. The ministry also has spent Rs. 958 million to purchase shoes for 700,000 school children in difficult areas.
Vouchers to the value of Rs.1,200 to Rs.1,500 in four categories are issued to purchase shoes.
However, the Suraksha Student Insurance scheme and the voucher system to purchase school uniforms launched during the Yahapalana government came under heavy criticism by the opposition claiming that they were most corrupt and unsuitable programmes put in place in the history of national education in the country.
Certain MPs even lodged complaints with the Bribery Commission, the CID and the FCID and demanded immediate suspension of the programmes. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)