As one who was closely associated with Education in the Assisted Special schools for over three decades and now retired, it gave me great joy to read in the Daily News of June 8 that the Government by a Cabinet decision has granted its approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Education for the revision of the code of regulation of assisted special schools.
The code of regulations for assisted special schools which has been first introduced in the 1930s is antiquated and outdated and needed revision for a long time. In view of this situation, the two principals of Ratmalana schools for the Deaf and Blind C.H. Gunawardana and K.G. Cooray, together with the Manager C.J. Oorloff as Chairman, (on behalf of the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind) in 1979, drew up a comprehensive memorandum on this subject and sent it to the Educational Reforms Committee for consideration and inclusion in the new education law.
However due to other priorities in the educational field, this was not included and only a few of these recommendations were accepted as amendments to the code of regulations, from time to time.
In the memorandum submitted in 1979, we analysed the categories of handicapped pupils that needed educational treatment and dealt in details regarding the organisation of the special schools, the age of admission of pupils, number of sessions and hours of work and the special aptitudes and skills needed by teachers in these schools and the special incentives that should be given to the teachers as regards their salaries and allowances apart from seeing to their future prospects working in this specialised field.
The syllabuses and grants for the maintenance and equipment needed in these special schools were also highlighted in this memorandum.
In the new revised memorandum which the Government hopes to introduce shortly, we hope the opportunity would be given to the Boards of Management of these schools as well as the principals and teachers to ventilate their views, so that their recommendations could be considered carefully and included if suitable before drafting the final memorandum.
Finally a special word of thanks is due to the Government, the Education Minister and Advisory Committee at the Ministry of Education for the ready response they have shown to this pressing, need long overdue, for the future progress and development of education in the assisted special schools in Sri Lanka.
K. G. COORAY
(A letter to the Daily News editor)