Welgama calls on Education Minister to resign
2 years ago
By Buddhika Samaraweera The New Lanka Freedom Party Leader and Samagi Jana Balawegaya Opposition Parliamentarian Kumara Welgama has requested the Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris to appoint a suitable person to the post of Education Minister and resign if he cannot restore the education system. Alleging that Prof. Peiris is the most ineffective Education Minister in the history of the country, Welgama called on him to formulate a programme on the advice of education experts and public health experts to restore the education system which has been disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic at present. “Not only the students of primary grades, but also those who are preparing for the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations are now helpless. The disruption of students' education for a long period of time would have a huge impact on their future.” In a recent letter to Prof. Peiris, he also claimed that although Prof. Peiris had stated that the cause of this situation was the Covid-19 pandemic, it was not acceptable at all as during the first two or three months of the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, health experts worldwide had said that the pandemic would last for at least three years. “If Prof. Peiris is a successful Minister, he should have convened education experts and the relevant parties within that time period and prepared a programme to face the challenges that lay ahead. However, it does not appear that such an arrangement has been made so far,” he added. In the letter, he further claimed that although the Education Ministry’s prime solution for the issue is online teaching, at present however, it is not a successful programme at all. He opined that online teaching was not a successful method, especially for students in the primary grades. He also noted that there is a risk of the spread of dengue since there is no programme to clean the school premises that have been kept closed for a long time, especially during the rainy season. “We urge you to take appropriate action in this regard, and if not, to hand over the Ministry to a suitable person and resign,” he said. Several attempts to contact Prof. Peiris, to inquire into the allegations levelled against him by Welgama, were unsuccessful. However, Education Ministry Secretary, Prof. Kapila Perera, when contacted by The Morning, said that the relevant officials had been instructed to carry out dengue control activities in schools as usual. He also said that they were constantly discussing with the relevant parties to identify and solve the problems that arise when teaching using online technology.