CTSU complains to CIABOC over foreign training programme

  •  Alleges Education Ministry violated due procurement process 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) has lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), alleging that the Education Ministry has violated the due procurement process in the process of seeking to send 300 officers of the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service (SLEAS) to the UK to pursue a postgraduate degree programme at a cost of Rs. 2,400 million.

Speaking to the media after the complaint was lodged, CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe stated that the Education Ministry should take immediate action to cancel the programme to send the relevant officials to the UK. Instead, he said that officials in all fields of the education sector should be given that opportunity under a proper selection process.

“In the education sector, there are a number of services such as the SLEAS, the principals’ service, the teachers’ service, and the teaching instructors’ service. Therefore, we urge the education authorities to cancel this programme and give the opportunity to the officers of all sections under a proper procedure,” he said.

He further claimed that the relevant programme has been rejected twice by the Procurement Committee of the Education Ministry. According to Jayasinghe, former Education Ministers Dullas Alahapperuma and Prof. G.L. Peiris have also rejected the relevant programme. 

“The programme to send these officials to the UK is completely corrupt, and this is a proposal that was twice rejected by the Procurement Committee of the Education Ministry. In addition, Alahapperuma and Prof. Peiris rejected the programme,” he claimed.

Jayasinghe recently claimed that the Education Ministry is preparing to send a group of SLEAS officers selected in a manner contrary to the due process to the UK to pursue a postgraduate degree programme at a cost of around Rs. 2,400 million. As the first stage, 54 officers of the SLEAS are to be sent to the UK to pursue a postgraduate degree programme at a cost of Rs. 8 million each.

He also claimed that among them are also certain officers who have been accused of various corruptions and several others who are holding various secret discussions with Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera, to sabotage the ongoing trade union actions that have been initiated by teachers’ and principals’ trade unions, in protest of what they claim to be the Government’s failure to provide solutions to the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue.

Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Prof. Perera were unavailable for comment on the matter.