News

Online teaching boycott to restart

  • Unions demand online facilities for students/teachers/principals 

By Buddhika Samaraweera 

Teachers’ and principals’ trade unions have decided to refrain from all online teaching activities until all teachers, principals, and students who lack the necessary facilities to carry out online education activities are provided with the necessary facilities to do so, according to Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) and the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU). 

Speaking at a media briefing, CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the Government should provide at least a tablet or a laptop and a data package to teachers and principals to conduct such lessons. 
In addition, claiming that about 66% of the total student population in the country lacks the necessary facilities to pursue online education, Jayasinghe said that the Government should therefore take steps to provide students with the relevant equipment and data packages. 

“For nearly two years, teachers and principals have been teaching online at their own expense. But many of them, and students as well, did not have adequate facilities. Therefore, we are ready to resume online teaching activities only if the Government provides such facilities to all these parties. Otherwise, we will not start teaching online under any circumstances,” he added. 

Meanwhile, CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin also stated at the same media briefing that online teaching activities will not be carried out until the necessary facilities are provided to teachers, principals, and students. 
Nearly 30 teachers’ and principals’ trade unions have embarked on a series of trade union actions, including withdrawal from all physical and online teaching activities and examination-related duties, demanding a solution to the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue since 12 July 2021. Their trade union actions mark the 102nd day today (21). 

However, the Teachers and Principals Trade Union Alliance (TPTUA), which was instrumental in initiating the said trade union actions, decided last week to ease the trade union actions and announced that they would resume teaching activities and return to examination-related duties from 25 October. 

When inquired about this, Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera said: “The teachers will have all the facilities when they come to school. They just have to come to school.”