Reopening schools on 18 July uncertain  

  • Teachers’ unions urge expansion of bus service including Sisu Sariya for students/teachers 

BY Safrah Fazal

The reopening of schools on 18 July, as previously planned, remains uncertain with the fuel crisis still posing a challenge to the country.

Speaking to The Morning yesterday (12), an official from the Ministry of Education said that a decision has not yet been reached with regard to the reopening of schools on 18 July as previously stated, noting: “We are hoping to come to a definite decision in this regard soon.”

Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe, speaking to The Morning, urged the authorities to reopen schools as planned while providing the required transportation facilities to students and teachers. 

“Two discussions were held at the Ministry last week pertaining to the reopening of schools. We put forward a number of proposals to ease the burden of transportation on children and teachers. The Ministry should decide to reopen schools. Among others, we suggested that they provide school buses for children and teachers and to increase the number of ‘Sisu Sariya’ buses. With the ongoing political situation at present, it is also uncertain if these decision makers will remain till the end of the week,” Jayasinghe said.

Also speaking to The Morning, Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin noted that the decision to reopen schools was taken on the basis that the fuel issue will be sorted by 18 July. “The fuel crisis is not resolved yet so the possibility of reopening schools is questionable.” 

Speaking further, Stalin said that while the CTU is opposed to the closure of schools, with the prevailing transportation issue, it may not be practical to reopen schools next week.

On Sunday (10), the Ministry announced that schools islandwide will remain closed until 15 July, taking into consideration the transportation difficulties that have arisen as a result of the fuel crisis. It was announced that schools will reopen on 18 July.