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University teachers crisis will end-Govt

30 August 2012 03:04 am - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The university teachers’ strike will most probably end with the Cabinet of Ministers approving the government’s policy stand to address the grievances of the academics and to develop the higher education sector, officials said.

The Economic Development Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry presented this policy document for approval by Cabinet yesterday. According to the paper endorsed by Cabinet, the government has agreed in principle to place the university academic staff in a special category of the public service. This has been a long standing demand of the university academics who are now on strike.

The government has decided to appoint a committee consisting of representatives of the university sector, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and other stakeholders.  

The Cabinet note says that this special category would be created to enable the authorities concerned to attract individuals with outstanding academic qualification as university staff and to keep them in the service. The move is also aimed at persuading university teachers currently working abroad to return to the country.

Besides this, the government intends to establish a special presidential commission to identify areas that need urgent reforms in the higher education sector.  The commission will be mandated to recommend   measures to ensure independence within the university system.   

The government is planning to establish a special post graduate institute within the next five years to train academics with special skills to improve the quality of the education sector.

In this Cabinet paper, the government accepts the fact that independence is essential for the smooth functioning of the university system. Earlier, there were allegations by students and lecturers that the government was interfering in the internal affairs of the universities.

Asked for a comment in this regard, Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said the university teachers would call off the strike within the next few days.

The Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera, a vice president of the Federation of University Teachers (FUTA), accepted that a policy document was drafted in this regard.

“We are yet to get a copy of this Cabinet paper. We do not know whether the government has  endorsed the document drafted jointly by us. We can comment only after we study it,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)
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  • Nimal Thursday, 30 August 2012 12:44 PM

    According to this news, 6% demand was not included. hehe.... what happened to demand of 6%? Lecturers can get benefits for themself. Make foll the public ^ ^

    renu Thursday, 30 August 2012 12:58 PM

    There is going to be a presidential commission which will take its time and the end result would be square one , as seen often then FUTA has to restart its agitation. Discussions with Government isa a delaying process

    Upali Thursday, 30 August 2012 01:18 PM

    A step in the right direction after the untiring efforts of FUTA and the public. This reflects only the beginning. FUTA and the public will have to do much to "walk the talk" if Sri lanka is to regain the educational status of the country

    Sonali De Silva Thursday, 30 August 2012 01:55 PM

    "University teachers crisis will end Govt "

    Chandrapala Friday, 31 August 2012 06:43 AM

    FUTA should go back to work and show some improvement in the method of lecturing, paper marking and prescribing of reference books. At least then the government will know that they are making some effort to improve the present tertiary education standards rather than just delivering a one hour lecture and running to private institutions to lecture.


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