(02nd July 2007 – 00:05 S.L.T)  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.
COLOMBO:Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad inaugurated the first of the 20 Nanasala that the Indian Government is financing at a cost of SL Rs. 13 million. Irrigation, Water Management, Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest. President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, also participated in the inauguration. The 20 Nanasalas have been carefully selected so that most of the districts in the Island will benefit from the project.
Is this saving ‘free education’ or using a section of university students to run errands for JVP?  Please note the timing. This is the first demonstration by IUSF for three years? Where was this IUSF for the last three years? Didn’t this threat to free education exist in the period between 2004-7?
Note: We reproduce this item verbatim from Daily News because we see the news value of it from a different perspective. We all know that OBAs and OGAs now exist purely with one objective – getting ones’ offspring admitted to a popular school. They are exclusive elite clubs with membership strictly controlled. It is well known that most of the OBAs and OGAs operate like small mafias. In this environment, it is not a surprise the OBA of Ananda College trying to reinforce its political power by inviting powerful political personalities to its ilk.
Looks like JVP has come out of its prolonged hibernation. New posters are plastered all over the city, ostensibly by so called ‘Inter University Student Federation’ but don’t we know better?   ‘Rata pura upadhi kada vasa damanu!’ they say. No kidding.
Microsoft plans to start testing a new education PC called IQ PC and an education channel on its MSN portal in India next month.  The India launch of the IQ PC and education channel will be the first worldwide. It is part of Microsoft’s “Unlimited Potential” program, which aims to use technology to increase the reach of education, said a spokeswoman for Microsoft India on Wednesday.  Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced the Unlimited Potential program in April.  The new education PC, which is a combination of online and offline content, is likely to be priced at about Indian Rupees 21,000 ($513).
A group of girls returning home from school in Afghanistan’s Logar province recently did not for a moment expect what lay ahead.   As they walked down a dirt track, insurgents sprang out of the parched farms and began firing on them.  Some of them fled into the farm, but two girls, one aged 13, the other 10, were killed in the ambush. Three of their friends were wounded.  This kind of attack on schoolchildren, the first incident of its kind in Afghanistan, highlights how the insurgents are trying to disrupt education in the war-ravaged nation.
This is a plea for our good professors of science to step up to the role of professors of conscience. Our universities are disaster zones.  Productive scholars are not tolerated. What do they do? Leave the country?
Almost two thirds of homosexual pupils in Britain’s schools have suffered homophobic bullying, a survey suggests.   Almost all of those had experienced verbal bullying but 41% had been physically attacked, while 17% said they had received death threats.  The study was done by the Schools Health Education Unit for campaign group Stonewall, which said adults in schools were often behind the bullying.  The government said that all forms of bullying were unacceptable.  Stonewall said the report, on the views of 1,145 young people, was the largest poll of its kind ever conducted in Great Britain.
 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will convene a forum in Sri Lanka from 26 to 28 June to bring together Deans of Education from four Asian countries to prepare plans to integrate information and communication technologies (ICT) into teacher education. From 26-28 June, UNESCO Bangkok, in cooperation with project partners Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT), Microsoft (initiating partner) and Cisco Systems, will convene a forum for Deans of Education from Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) from Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia and Indonesia: In this forum, convened as part of the UNESCO the Next Generation of Teachers (Next Gen) project, Deans will collectively explore the challenges of integrating information and communication technologies (ICT) into teacher education and will develop plans for implementing the Next Gen project activities in their respective Teacher Education Institutes. The forum, to be convened in Colombo, Sri Lanka, follows the Bangkok Deans’ Forum, held in May 2007, which was attended by Deans from TEIs in Lao PDR, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. According to Dr. Molly Lee, Co-ordinator of the Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) at UNESCO Bangkok, the first Deans Forum was a great success.