By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
The Education Minister should take measures to create an assurance on students and parents minds to attend schools rather than securing Cabinet approval for the free distribution tabs among school children, Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) yesterday said.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, CTU Chairman Joseph Stalin yesterday said Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had secured Cabinet approval for the free distribution of 183,000 tabs among school children despite objections by President Maithripala Sirisena.
“This is not the thing which should be done by a responsible Minister in a situation like this. He should make assurances to students to come to school without any fear and should make their parents feel that their children are safe,” he said.
“The Ministry had appointed 3,850 Sports Instructors to schools islandwide and a training programme had been arranged for those selected. The chosen individuals had proved their sports abilities at provincial or national levels. Unlike teachers, these instructors are in a position to remain on the grounds and provide them with training,” Mr. Stalin said. He alleged that the Ministry was trying to provide employment to persons politically affiliated and that persons who had no sports qualifications had been selected.
Earlier the CTU called the Ministry to stop the appointments as these Instructors were recruited against the Teacher Service Minutes (TSM), he said.
“We should keep in mind that they are not teachers and have no responsibility towards students as they lack training as teachers,” he said.
He added that the Union does not mind appointing talented sports persons as teachers in the proper manner.
Mr Stalin said they were also against the government’s decision to recruit Sports Instructors to government schools in violation of the TSM and this should not be done in a situation like this.