Education Ministry allegedly promoting private school education

  • Workers’ Struggle Centre alleges separate unit within Ministry to merge private and public schools

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Workers’ Struggle Centre (WSC) has claimed that the Government is attempting to promote private school education by using the ongoing trade union (TU) actions initiated by the teachers’ and principals’ trade unions demanding solutions to their issues, including the teacher-principal salary anomalies.

Speaking at a media briefing held on 28 September, WSC Organising Secretary Duminda Nagamuwa charged that a separate unit is in operation within the Education Ministry to merge private schools with government schools.

He also said that in order to pave the way for the said programme, the Government was attempting to mislead people including parents by claiming that the entire education system has collapsed due to the trade union actions of teachers and principals, in a backdrop where there are many issues in the education sector due to the Government not having paid attention to resolve them.

“The Government has no issue with this struggle and that is why they are delaying providing solutions. At present, a separate unit is in operation under the Education Ministry to mix private schools with government schools. Therefore, the Government is trying to create displeasure among the parents and in the community, about teachers and government schools, by delaying the providing of solutions to the teachers’ and principals’ issues,” Nagamuwa alleged.

Speaking further, he stated that at present, the teachers and principals have launched this trade union struggle not only for themselves. He stressed that this struggle will affect those who wish to join the teaching profession in the future, and that the problems of teachers must be addressed for the future of free and quality education.

Nearly 30 teachers’ and principals’ trade unions have embarked on a number of trade union actions, demanding a solution to the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue, the provision of facilities for teachers and students to carry out online education activities, and several other issues since 12 July 2021.

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