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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Teachers on warpath over proposed amendments

Dailymirror 21/07/2011

By Lakna Paranamanna

Teacher unions yesterday warned that if the proposed amendments to the Sri Lanka Teachers Service (SLTS) Minutes were implemented, it would result in the deterioration of quality standards in the education sector as the number of students for a teacher would increase drastically.

The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) – a teacher union which objects to the proposed amendments to the SLTS Minute - yesterday said that the implementation of the amendments would limit the number of cadre positions from 213,000 to about 197,800. 

“Therefore, although the teacher – student ratio is about 1:19 at the moment, the number of students would increase drastically if the amendments are implemented,” CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said yesterday.

Mr. Stalin pointed out that the number of cadre positions are being limited due to the lack of financial resources of the Education Ministry.

“We believe it is unethical of the Education Ministry to have brought amendments to the SLTS without consulting the teachers and teacher unions. However, during the discussions between the Education Ministry Secretary H.M. Gunasekera and teachers unions on Tuesday, he assured us that the amendments will not be implemented without consulting us and that a chance would be provided for us to make our suggestions and criticisms,” he added. During the discussions on Tuesday, the teacher unionists had also stressed on the importance of implementing the interim salary proposals prepared in 2007 as a solution to the longstanding salary anomaly of the teachers.