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President addresses challenges confronting Muslim schools in Colombo

2 April 2024 07:18 pm - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, April 02 - In a concerted effort to tackle the educational hurdles encountered by Muslim schools in the Colombo region, President Ranil Wickremesinghe chaired a formal discussion at the Presidential Secretariat today (02). 

The meeting, which brought together key stakeholders, including Minister Ali Sabry and representatives of school principals and organizations, addressed a range of pressing issues.

Among the challenges discussed were the shortage of teachers, inadequate infrastructure including classroom space, difficulties in teaching Islam in Sinhala, and the absence of schools in Muslim-majority areas. 

Minister Ali Sabry underscored the gravity of the situation, pointing out that while there are approximately 70 Muslim schools in Kalutara, there are only around 19 in Colombo. This disparity has led to a higher dropout rate in Colombo, exacerbating social issues not only within the community but also impacting the nation at large.

Responding to these concerns, President Wickremesinghe swiftly initiated steps to address the identified issues. He directed officials from the Ministry of Education and the Urban Development Authority to conduct a thorough investigation and submit reports on specific matters. One critical aspect addressed was the shortage of teachers proficient in teaching Islam in Sinhala, affecting approximately 40,000 students receiving education through the Sinhala medium.

Moreover, attention was drawn to the lack of Muslim schools in certain areas of Colombo, hindering students' access to educational opportunities. To remedy this, the President instructed Urban Development Authority officials to explore options for relocating some schools to suitable land.

Another significant focus of the meeting was on overcoming obstacles to the donor-funded construction of new school buildings to alleviate space shortages. Principals and organization representatives emphasized the acute shortage of approximately 200 teachers across the 19 Muslim schools in Colombo and stressed the urgency of resolving this issue.


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  Comments - 20

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  • Moor Tuesday, 02 April 2024 07:27 PM

    We are not fools.

    Ppp Tuesday, 02 April 2024 08:20 PM

    First of all, why do we need Muslim, Tamil or sinhala schools? Second, why do we need religion in schools?

    Bond together As a Nation with Limited Resources Wednesday, 03 April 2024 06:45 AM

    Absolutely. Stop this nonsense of prehistoric times and study together as a nation. Will definitely help in nation building and bonding at an early age to stop all kinds of discriminations. This will also cut down on wastage of funds and resources. All parents should encourage their children to enrol in regular schools and with AI, achieve the child’s potential in all aspects of education.

    Sokrates Wednesday, 03 April 2024 09:41 AM

    Very true. Sri Lanka is a secular country. Religious education has no place in schools, nor does religious indoctrination. Prayers and other religious activities must be forbidden. Religious education must be voluntary and must take place outside of school hours. Parents should also not force their children to take part in religious classes. From the age of 14, every young person should be able to decide for themselves about their religion, as in Germany, for example. There should also be no ethnically separate schools. All three languages must be treated equally in schools so that every student can speak and write all three languages fluently.

    R Jayasena Tuesday, 02 April 2024 08:25 PM

    It's so unfortunate to see that we (at least some communities) wanted separate educational systems without adhering to a true Sri Lankan identity. Rece/Religion based schools only divide the society. Where is our Sri Lankan identity? all we see is Sinhalese/Tamil/Muslim identities all the way from our independence struggle. There should be ZERO Muslim schools (or any Race/Religion based)

    Ganesh Tuesday, 02 April 2024 09:24 PM

    Religion should not define a school or be the centre of the school curriculum. STEM subjects should be the focus of we need to develop. It would be great religion as a subject is removed. Let this be a private matter.

    Patcitz Tuesday, 02 April 2024 11:19 PM

    Schools where the division of racial discriminations start developing, to prevent such things happening in the future, responsible leader must be elected to office to elleviate the disparity and created a system where schools are as one where students from every community to be enrolled and study seating as brothers and sisters. So, wipe out the concept of Sinhala Schools, Moslem Schools, Tamil Schools, and Christian Schools, let everyone learns to study as One Community.

    Tissa Fernando Wednesday, 03 April 2024 12:13 AM

    You have these schools in cities established by religious bodies initially but most are government funded now. Outside provinxes the new schools are mixed, even Buddhist and Catholic schools have students from each faith mixed. Muslims always want to be separate from others because the rest are infidels.

    Zilfika Kader Wednesday, 03 April 2024 02:04 AM

    What about mashrooming so-called tiny, tiny international schools at corners in Muslim areas? Those run run with one purpose, making money.

    Kevin Wednesday, 03 April 2024 02:47 AM

    Why is this ethnic segregation? Sri Lanka is still very backward.

    Suraiya Wednesday, 03 April 2024 04:52 AM

    All religions teach goodness. A child who does not get religious knowledge is mislead easily. Every religion should be respected. One should not forget the base of one's existence. Or we will have to worry about the future of our children as in west. Religion moulds the development of an individual. That is an asset.

    Alpha Wednesday, 03 April 2024 05:34 AM

    Ananda, Nalanda, Visakha, Dharmaraja etc. has almost zero percentage of children of other religions. If this is corrected, we will solve a multitude of problems, not only in education, faced by the citizens of this country.

    Kevin Wednesday, 03 April 2024 08:03 AM

    Race and religion based school system is the main culprit for the polarized mindset within the Sri Lankan society. This system was created, maintained and nourished for narrow party politics - as we can see what exactly RW is doing there.

    Dilshan Wednesday, 03 April 2024 08:04 AM

    Influenced by Western education, religion often receives a negative perception in Asia. However, this overlooks the significant contributions of educated religious individuals who prioritize social welfare over individualistic Western ideals. It's not religion itself, but rather corrupt individuals who misuse it, that pose problems in our communities. As the West experiences a resurgence of interest in religion, it's important for us to discern the positive impact of faith-based initiatives and not blindly follow misguided trends.

    MirakRajBanda Wednesday, 03 April 2024 08:08 AM

    @R. Jayasena- Good move. Let's begin with Ananda, Nalada and Museus College.

    joshua Wednesday, 03 April 2024 08:36 AM

    get everything from RW as the elections are near. But no vote as he is the darling of Rajapakshes protecting them ignoring even the SC ruling.

    Alex Drake Wednesday, 03 April 2024 09:00 AM

    Elections are coming noh Another of those promises like wi-fi, laptops etc etc

    citizen Wednesday, 03 April 2024 10:28 AM

    President now only has wake-up , when a election is in the corner only President will remember Colombo citizens, he knows very well what was the response Colombo citizen provide him on last election, no address to president. he cannot fool the citizens again.

    mrio Wednesday, 03 April 2024 11:54 AM

    YOU PROMISE JUSTICE FOR THAJUDEEN WHAT HAPPEN

    Parents Wednesday, 03 April 2024 11:13 PM

    There are many challenges in other schools too, not only in Muslim schools! What a stupid thing to say!!


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