NE part time English teachers begin fasting protest
[TamilNet, Monday, 01 September 2003, 18:28 GMT]
Hundreds of part time English teachers working in the Northeast provincial schools began a fasting campaign on a rotation basis Monday in front of the provincial education ministry office in Trincomalee, demanding the authorities to make their appointments permanent immediately, North East Part time English Teachers' Association (NEPETA) officials said.
About 1200 part time English teachers have been working in schools in the Northeast since 1992. They have been recruited under a scheme in which they should work for two hours per day with remuneration of Rupees 40 per hour with the maximum of Rs: 1600 per month, trade union officials said.
Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians Messrs R.Sampanthan, Selvam Adaikalanathan, K.Thurairetnasingham and Sivasakthi Anandan visited the fasting part time teachers and inquired from them of their demands and difficulties.
NEPETA officials and teachers fasting told the four parliamentarians that although they are termed part time but they are called upon to work full day as permanent teachers do, as there is acute shortage for permanent English teachers in the province, sources said.
"We ungrudgingly serve as full time teachers in the hope we would be rewarded one day with permanency taking our service into consideration," said the co-ordinator of the NEPETA Mr.S.Gnanakaran told the visiting Tamil parliamentarians.
A female teacher from Vanni said, "we were recruited as part time English teacher after written examination and interview. We attended in service training in teaching of English language conducted by the department of education. We were awarded certificated for attending English teaching seminars. How could the authorities now say that we must sit for another written test and interview?" she asked.
Later parliamentarians Messrs Sampanthan, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Thurairatnasingham and Sivasakthi Anandan met the provincial education secretary Mr.R.Thiagalingam and discussed the issue of granting permanency to the part time English teachers. It was agreed at the discussion to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister and Minister of Education regarding granting permanency to these teachers.
"Our campaign will continue until we get our permanent appointment letters. We would not budge an inch from this place as the authorities have deceived us several times," several part time teachers categorically told the TNA parliamentarians who assured them that they would take up this matter with the Prime Minister and the Education Minister in Colombo this week.
Parliamentarians said they would take up this matter with the Prime Minister when they are scheduled to meet him on September 8, the sources said.
Parliamentarians Sampanthan, Thurairetnasingham, Sivasakthi Anandam and Selvam Adaikalanathan are seen having discussion with provincial education ministry secretary Mr.R.Thiagalingam
a part time woman English teacher from Vaharai in the eastern province a part time woman English teacher from Vaharai in the eastern province
section of fasting part time English teachers ( nuns are also seen )
parliamentarians Sampanthan, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Thurairetnasingham, Sivasakthi Anandan are seen talking to fasting part time English teachers