(02nd July 2007
– 00:05 S.L.T)Â
The government has no capacity to continue with Mahapola scheme says Minister Bandula Gunawardene, Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs. He said this at a ceremony held to donate Mahapola Scholarships to 642 students who have qualified to enter universities from Galle District.
Addressing the gathering the minister said though there are cries to increase Mahapola grant it would not be possible to do so.
Speaking further Mr. Bandula Gunawardene said Sri Lanka was the country in the world which allocates the highest amount for education. He also pointed out that Sri Lanka was the only country which gives free text books and school uniforms. He said this could not continue amidst the economic crisis confronted by the country.
When â€˜Lankatruthâ€™ inquired from Inter Universities Students Federation, a spokesman for the studentsâ€™ body said when compared with expenditure incurred to maintain the largest cabinet in the world the allocation for education is a trifle. He further said the government came to power pledging to defend free education and if the government attempts to ignore these promises the student population would not hesitate to take stern action against such a government.