NIE rejects request for Jaffna Branch office

[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 September 2002, 19:09 GMT]
The National Institute of Education (NIE) that comes under the purview of the Ministry of Education has turned down a request made by the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) to open its regional office in Jaffna district. The CTTU said its request was made to ensure equal opportunity to Tamil medium teachers and students in education in the northeast province as in other provinces.

The CTTU delegation led by its general secretary Mr.T.Mahasivam made this request at a discussion with the NIE Director General Professor Gunawardene.

The CTTU delegation pointed out to the Director General the areas where Tamil medium teachers and students are discriminated by the educational authorities in the country.

"Textbooks and teacher guide publications are not printed and distributed simultaneously with the Sinhalese publications. Results of examinations held for Tamil medium students and teachers are not released in time. Several courses held in Sinhalese medium are not conducted in Tamil medium. The NIE since its inception has not sent a single Tamil officer on paid leave to obtain doctorate in his/her sphere abroad or in home country, " alleged the CTTU delegation.

"The NIE has been functioning for the last two decades. However, Tamil medium educational activities under the NIE are not given due priority thus depriving equal opportunity to Tamil medium students and teachers. To ensure equal opportunity to Tamil students and teachers in education, immediate action should be taken to open its regional office at Jaffna," pointed out the CTTU delegation.

The CTTU delegation told the NIE Director General that not a single Tamil or Muslim officer is serving in the management committee of the NIE which formulates the education policy.

The NIE Director General in reply said that that it is impossible to open a branch of the NIE in Jaffna. However he said he could try to solve problems of Tamil medium education. The Director General accepted that in past discrimination against Tamil medium education prevailed. He assured the CTTU delegation that he would take steps to appoint more Tamil medium officers in the NIE once adequate funds are allocated next January.


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