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The National Salaries and Cadre Review Commission has requested the Education Ministry to submit a fresh set of proposals within two weeks for the resolution of salary problems put forward by five teacher trade unions currently boycotting Advanced Levelpaper marking. Education Minister Susil Premajayantha told the Daily Mirror yesterday that he would now take necessary measures in this regard to rectify salary anomalies in the teacher service. Mr. Premajayantha said that this move by the Commission was a new development, and the trade unions also wanted an assurance from the government to enforce the new salary scales by January 1, 2008. However, the trade unionists urged the Government to issue the circular enacting the new salary scales immediately.
Teachers’ trade unions in Sri Lanka accused authorities of intimidating teachers who are boycotting marking A/L exam papers.    Lanka Teachers’ Association (LTA) said the authorities are using police to intimidate teachers after the talks between the authorities and trade unions collapsed on Wednesday.  The teachers have been boycotting marking A/L exam papers for nearly 20 days urging the authorities to rectify their pay anomalies.  LTA General Secretary Joseph Stalin told BBC Sandeshaya that police officials around the island are intimidating the teachers after the talks ended with no agreement.  “The police officials are visiting teacher’s residents asking whether they are prepared to mark the papers,” he said.
I am a A/L student in Negombo. It was my personal experience when one of my cousins had to seek admission to a popular school in Negombo.His family happened to face severe problems despite the fact that father possesses the membership of the past pupils’ association of the college. He always dreamt about sending his child to that school. But unfortunatly it did not happen.
Talks between the teacher trade unions and Education Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterdayfailed to reach any settlement regarding the grievances connected with their salaries . Secretary to the Association of Educational Professionals Wasanta Dharmasiri told the Daily Mirror yesterday that they would go ahead with their decision to boycott Advanced Level paper marking. However, Mr. Dharmasiri said that the minister agreed to arrange a meeting for them with the National Salaries and Cadre Review Commission today to discuss the problem further. Five teacher trade unions started boycotting paper marking on August 20 urging the government to address their grievances.
General category – Location of the residence and convenience of parents and child: Maximum 20 marks. (Under the earlier guidelines householders – residents living closest to the school – would get 40% while non-householders – residents living near the school would get 7%) The School Committee may consider giving full marks if the school applied is the closest school to the applicant’s residence. It may consider reducing one mark for each school of the same category (National or Provincial) situated between the school applied for and the applicant’s residence. If an applicant seeks marks under this category, he or she cannot seek marks under the past pupils category. Past Pupils: Maximum 20 marks.
What is (rather, will be) the only examination in Sri Lanka where there is an EIGHTY PERCENT (80%) GUARANTEED FAILURE RATE?  Answer: Grade One admissions in the year 2008.  As the latest circular of the Education Ministry tells us, the number of five year olds the Ministry intends to call for the IQ test (call it whatever, it is ultimately an IQ test) will be FIVE TIMES the number of vacancies in a school. So 80% of the applicants are bound to fail, irrespective of the marks they score. (If each of the top 20% scores 20/20, even those who score 19/20, ie.
Teachers’ trade unions in Sri Lanka say many more teachers are afraid of marking A/L answer papers as a result of their boycott being challenged in the court.    The trade unions that stage a boycott of marking the papers were ordered by the Supreme Court not to intimidate or force those who are marking the papers to join their action.  Wasantha Dharmasiri, General Secretary of Education Professionals Association (EPA), said many teachers who did not join the boycott are now fearful whether they would be sued if they make any mistake.  A trade union action by 12,000 teachers was converted into a mass scale protest by 225,000 education professionals as a result of the court action, he said.  Five major teachers’ unions say they are planning to stage an island-wide boycott on 13 September.
According to recent news, University Grants Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training is to set up a University of Vocational Technology. The public university system is in crisis. Funding is in adequate and/or is mismanaged. Students are protesting about lack of facilities. The Technical and Vocations Education system is in no better shape.
While the 2007 GCE Advanced Level examination paper marking has come to a standstill due to trade union action by some teachers’ unions, the Supreme Court yesterday made an order restraining the unions from threatening and intimidating the Assistant Examiners who were to scrutinize the answers scripts. Court made this order following a petition filed by H.S. Rukman Senananda, a student who had sat the examination, citing Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, Ministry Secretary Ariyaratne Hewage, Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe, the Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union, All Ceylon United Teachers’ Union, Education Professional Association, Ceylon Teachers Union and Lanka Home Science and Agriculture Union and IGP Victor Perera. The 19-year-old student of Nivaththakachethiya Maha Vidyalaya in Anuradhapura who sat the A/L examination in August stated that after the examination was conducted, Additional Examiners and Assistant Examiners were invited to scrutinise the answer scripts.
A key issue worries a significant youth population in Sri Lanka, is the difficulty to find a suitable job to meet their expectations. The long term goal should be to create jobs, but if somebody at least helps others to find proper employment opportunities that itself is commendable. We hope the other politicians too follow the Lyceum example, and conduct job fairs rather than pushing their supporters to positions within government ruing the system.  This news item from today’s Daily Mirror.  _________________________________________________________ “Virekiyawen-Rekiyawakata” the annual job fair organized by the Lyceum International School in collaboration with the Mohan Lal Grero Foundation will be held on September 8, 2007 from 8.