NE Educational Development Workshop held in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 22:28 GMT]
A one-day North East Education Development Stakeholders Consultation Workshop was held Thursday in Trincomalee with the Provincial Governor, Major General (retd.) Asoka Jayawardene, as the chief guest. Representatives of UNICEF, World Bank, The German Agency GTZ, NECORD, Asian Development Bank and other international donor agencies participated in the workshop, which was held at the provincial guesthouse at Uppuveli, suburb in Trincomalee town.

NE Educational Development
People awaiting the arrival of guests with garlands at the entrance of the venue.
NEPC Chief Secretary Mr.S.Rangarajah addressing the workshop said that several efforts were made to regain the educational standard in the war-ravaged northeast with the assistance of UNICEF, World Bank, GTZ, Asian development Bank and other organizations.

"However we are unable to see a quick impact in the provincial education sector in a desired way. This is mainly due to the current rigid framework," said Mr.Rangarajah.

Problems prevailing in the education sector in the northeast province should be considered as special ones and special attention should be given when addressing those problems, said Mr.Rangarajah.

The Chief Secretary said 145 schools in the northeast province had been dislocated and another 156 remain temporarily closed. More than 4500 teacher vacancies exist in the northeast schools.

The Provincial Governor also spoke. Provincial Education Ministry Secretary, Mr.R.Thiagalingam, made the welcome speech.



NE Educational Development
Guests being taken in a procession to the venue.


The head of the Education Council of Thamileelam, Fr. Francis Joseph, presented a paper at the workshop on behalf of the Director General of Education Council of Thamileelam, Mr.V.Ilankumaran. The general secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU), Mr.T.Mahasivam, also presented a paper, sources said.

Earlier, the guests were received at the entrance to the provincial guesthouse and taken in a procession to the auditorium. Later Provincial Governor declared open the workshop by lighting the traditional oil lamp.

Provincial Education Ministry circulated a report among the participants of the workshop on the current situation of the education sector of the northeast province.

According to the report, of the 2002 government schools in the northeast province, 1708 are functioning in permanent locations and 144 schools have been displaced and functioning temporarily elsewhere. 156 schools have been closed down.

Referring to the teacher shortage, the report said that the teacher-pupil ratio in the northeast province is 1:28.8 in Tamil medium and 1:21.8 in Sinhala medium. At the national level, the ratio is 1:21.0.



NE Educational Development
( L-R ) GTZ Country Director, Dr.Roland Steurer, and UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, Mr.Ted Chaiban, at the worskhop.


The required cadre for Tamil medium teachers in the northeast province is 27,648. But only 23,464 teachers are available, thus showing a shortage of 4184 teachers. Acute teacher shortage prevails in the categories of Primary Education, English, Maths and Science.

Of the 2002 government schools in the province that cater to about 655,000 students, considerable number of schools have been damaged due to war. More than 350 schools use about 500 temporary huts while many other schools are functioning in semi-permanent and damaged buildings, the report said.



NE Educational Development
Particpants at the workshop




NE Educational Development
UNICEF representative Mr.Chaiban addressing the workshop while ( L-R ) Fr. Francis Joseph of the Education Council of Thamileelam, CTTU general secretary Mr.Mahasivam, Provincial Education Ministry Secretary Mr.Thiagalingam, Governor Major General Askoa Jayawardene and Chief Secretary Mr.Rangarajah look on.

 

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