NE Tamil medium teachers strike, schools closed

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 October 2005, 05:20 GMT]
About twenty thousand Tamil medium teachers including principals in the northeast province Wednesday did not report for duty sending a sick note responding to the call of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) as a token protest against the government's failure to take prompt steps to implement several demands which included the immediate withdrawal of government troops located within fifty meters from schools and to hand over all schools which are located within the high security zones to the Department of Education.

World Teachers' Day fall on Wednesday ( October 5 )

Tamil medium Muslim schools in the province are on vacation for Ramzan fasting. However, Muslim teachers and Muslim students attending Tamil medium Tamil schools in the province also participated in the boycott, sources said.

About one thousand five Tamil medium schools did not function Wednesday, as students did not attend classes.

The CTTU in its memorandum to the Education Ministry Secretary has submitted twenty-five demands.

CTTU has requested the Ministry to establish branches of the National Institute for Education (NIE) and the Department of Education Publications in the Northeast province, to ensure equal opportunity in education to Tamil medium students and teachers.

Currently the NIE and Education Publications Department are without qualified Tamil officers to implement a scheme to develop Tamil medium education in the northeast. Tamil textbooks printed and published by the Education Publications Department are mere translation of Sinhala text books which are prepared to suit the chauvinist thinking of the majority community and distorting the history of Tamils in Sri Lanka, CTTU official said.

Tamil Teachers' Union is also demanding Education Ministry to establish a separate department for Tamil medium schools, which should be empowered to look into the development of Tamil medium schools in the country. At a discussion held with CTTU delegation earlier Dr.Ms Tara de Mel, Education Ministry Secretary agreed to set up the department but not implemented yet, he added.


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