"Tamil teacher vacancies being filled by Sinhalese" -CTTU
[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 March 2002, 15:52 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) Sunday blamed the Education Ministry for filling vacancies exist in Tamil medium schools in provinces ,except Northeast, in the country with Sinhalese teachers who have been found excess in Sinhala schools. "Ministry officials in Colombo are adopting this ruse to show the World Bank (WB) that no excess Sinhala teachers are employed in Sinhala schools," said Mr.T.Mahasivam, General Secretary of the CTTU.
The World Bank has now stopped financial aid under the General Education Project stage II to three Sinhala dominated Western, Central and Southern provinces in the country as the education authorities failed to comply with its conditions in regard to the appointment of teachers.
Except the Northeast, in the other seven provinces, according to a World Bank survey, there is an excess of more than fifteen thousand Sinhalese teachers. Tamil schools in the country experience acute shortage of Tamil medium teachers. It is estimated about that more than five thousand vacancies exist in Northeast schools for Tamil medium teachers, Northeast provincial ministry sources said.
"Provincial Education Ministries in the south has now started to transfer excess Sinhalese principals and teachers to Tamil schools, which experience teacher shortage. Large number of Tamil schools in the south now has Sinhalese principals. The Sinhalese teachers posted to Tamil schools are not competent to teach any subject in Tamil. Hence they idle in Tamil medium schools or attempt to teach Sinhala language to Tamil students. However the education authorities submit reports saying that teacher shortage in Tamil schools has been solved. This has deprived the job opportunity of Tamils," said Mr.Mahasivam.
Meanwhile, the Education Services Board under the Public Services Commission has suspended the appointment of three thousand Tamil medium teachers. These appointments were to be made on the recommendation of the World Bank to overcome the teacher shortage that now exists in the Northeast province. The then People's Alliance government approved these appointments prior to the last December general election. On assuming power the new government ordered all appointments made by the then PA government should be cancelled. The ESB's Secretary without consulting the Board has directed the Northeast Provincial Ministry of Education to suspend the Cabinet decision of the PA government. Still the suspension is in force inspite of protests by Tamil parliamentarians and teacher trade unions, CTTU sources said.