Reviving education in North will take years: PM

It would take at least another ten years to revive the fallen education system in the North, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe expressed this sentiment during a ceremony held at Temple Trees distribute permanent appointment letters to nearly 400 teachers in the North last morning

“The whole system of education in the North had fallen today. What have to do is to lay the foundation stone to revive this system in the province. It will take time,” he said.

“I cannot say we can do this in one year as it will take at least ten years. We have to introduce a new education system within the next ten years. There should be a familiar system for the North. We need the support of retired principals and teachers to do it. I have requested the Minister of Education to get the support of the Provincial Council to set up a new education programme for the province. However, one cannot give a dead line for it,” the Prime Minister said.

“It is a duty of the Government to grant appointments as permanent teachers to those who have worked under volunteer and contract basis in the Northern Province for a long time.

“The granting of permanent appointments to teachers will not end today as there are more to be made permanent. Most of these who are got appointments today worked at the Northern schools during war time.

“Others came during the post war period when there was a shortage of teachers in the province. There was no method of recruitment at that time while some did not have enough qualifications to become permanent teachers. However many persons helped to resolve the teacher shortage in the province during difficult times. Thanks very much for your commitment. Leader of Opposition, Governor of Northern province, Minister of education and the state Minister of education were keen to resolve this issue,” he added.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said the standard of education was very high in the North before the war and during his tenure as the Minister of Education.

“Education in Colombo was also of high standard. Gampaha was second. Then there is Kandy and Galle in the ranks. Education in Jaffna is on a standstill. There are a number of districts in the country where the education is of higher standards compared to Jaffna,” he also said.

Governor of Northern Province Reginald Cooray said the Government had understood the importance of reviving the education system in the North. “North was the foremost place of Sri Lanka’s education in the past but the education sector had come down during the war. President Regime had decided to put things right,” he said.

Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the decision was made to provide permanent appointments to Northern teachers after discussions with the Public service commission.

He said temporary appointments were given to teachers in the North as there were issues pertaining to procedures.

State Minister of Education V. Radhakrishnan said it was the people in the North who were against helping the province and not those from the South.

He said some in the education sector, who are against giving these appointments and were carrying out continuous protests in the North.

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