Jaffna schools said lacking basic facilities

[TamilNet, Friday, 06 February 2004, 00:44 GMT]
Educational International consultant Mr. Iyathurai Rajaguru, who is on a visit to Sri Lanka, described at a discussion held with representatives of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union and education officials in Trincomalee, Thursday evening, that he was shocked to see students studying in a school in Chavakachcheri sitting on broken furniture and without a blackboard.

Jaffna Schools lack facilities
EI Consultant Mr.I.Rajaguru.
Mr.Rajaguru made his comments in the presence of the North East Provincial Education Ministry Secretary, Mr.Thiagalingam, at the discussion.

Two Educational International (EI) consultants, the veteran trade unionist Mr. Basil de Silva and the Malaysian-born trade unionist, Mr. Iyathurai Rajaguru, paid a visit to Trincomalee Thursday on a mission to evaluate the activities of five teachers' trade unions, including the CTTU, under the John Thompson Training Programme of the EI.

Both consultants have been meeting the representatives of the teachers' trade unions in several countries including Sri Lanka that have been affiliated with the EI, which is an umbrella organization of all teachers' trade unions in the world.
Jaffna Schools lack facilities
EI consultant Mr.Basil de Silva.

They visited Nepal, Calcutta, Chennai and are now in Sri Lanka. Their next visit will be to Mongolia. Thereafter they will submit a report to EI, said Mr. de Silva and Mr. Rajaguru, both of whom are working in the EI headquarters as consultants

The President of the CTTU, Mr.S.Thandayuthapani, presided over the discussion held at the Trincomalee Vigneswara Maha Vidiyalayam Thursday evening. The Northeast Provincial Secretary for Education, Cultural Affairs, Sports and Youth Affairs, Mr.R.Thiagalingam, CTUU general secretary Mr.T.Mahasivam and other CTTU officials in Trincomalee attended the discussion.

Mr. de Silva who had his primary education in Trincomalee recalled the old days he spent in Tamil schools. " I really love Trincomalee. I am visiting Trincomalee after several years," he said.

"Opportunities do not come always. Now the opportunity has come for Sri Lankans to find a solution to the conflict peacefully through negotiations. This should not be missed. Time has come for Sri Lankan leaders to act with responsible wisdom," said Mr. Basil de Silva.

Mr. Rajaguru said that he visited his parents' birthplace, Thondamanaru in Jaffna district, last week for the first time in his 69-year-old life. In addition to being an EI Consultant, Mr.Rajaguru currently holds the post of Treasurer at the Malaysian Association for Education.

He along with Mr. de Silva visited several schools in the peninsula. He met with CTTU Jaffna officials, education officials and LTTE leaders in Jaffna and discussed problems confronting students and teachers in the peninsula.

" I went to a school in Chavakachcheri where I saw students using broken furniture to sit on and learn. The school is without a laboratory and library facilities. Even the basic facility of a blackboard was not provided. Only one room was available for students to study. I have not seen such a situation anywhere I visited. There is an acute dearth for English teachers in Jaffna," said Mr.Rajaguru.

Mr.Thiagalingam said even in the war situation education was not ignored in the northeast by parents, teachers and students. Schools also got displaced with the population of a village to another area during the war period. Now under the current peace situation displaced are returning to their own villages. The first thing the returnees do is to re-open the closed down school. Teachers played a vital role in maintaining the standard of education in the time of war. In some places like Kilinochchi and Vavuniya north, teachers worked without salary being paid, Mr.Thiagalingam.

Ms V.Yogeswaran of CTTU also spoke.

Jaffna Schools lack facilities
EI onsultants with participants at the discussion.( R-L) (seated) CTTU general secretary Mr.T.Mahasivam, Provincial Education Ministry Secretary Mr.Thiagalingam, Mr.Basil De Silva, Mr.Rajaguru, CTTU President Mr.Thandayuthapani and CTTU Cultural Affairs Secretary Mr.N.Rajanathan.

Jaffna Schools lack facilities
CTTU women wing activist Ms. Yogeswaran addressing the discussion on women's role in CTTU ( L-R) Mr.Thandayuthapani, Mr.Rajaguru, Mr.Basil de Silva and Mr.Mahasivam.


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