We are a concerned group of academics fighting to ensure the opportunity of high quality public higher education for the Sri Lankan masses. This blog is intended as a bulletin board to share news and ideas relevant to the cause. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the FUTA. If you wish to post any interesting articles please e-mail them to uteachers.sl at gmail.com
Thursday, July 19, 2012
JVP wants prompt action to settle university crisis
The JVP today urged the Government not to further aggravate the ongoing crisis in the universities and take immediate action to find answers for the grievances of university teachers.
JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake making a special statement in Parliament said that the university teachers were on a strike action with four demands which are reasonable and these demands must granted to sort out the current crisis situation in universities.
MP Dissnayake said the first and foremost demand of the university teachers is an allocation of six percent of the Gross Domestic Project for education. “The government which boasts to convert this county into Miracle of Asia has been pruning down the allocation for education since 2005. It has cut down by 50 percent. The total allocation for the education in 2005 was 3.5 percent of the GDP,” he said.
In 2011 corresponding figure was 1.86 percent. This had placed the university system in difficulty. The teachers have expressed the willingness to shelve their demand for a pay hike, if the government agrees to increase the GDP allocation for country’s education system, the JVP member said.
Their second demand is to stop political influences in the education sector while they also want to be consulted in preparing national policies on education.
The fourth demand put forward by the university academics was to provide solution to their salary problem.
The JP added that the university system needs at least 5800 academics but has only 4200 with a shortage of 1600.” Many academics have left the country. Therefore, the onus is on the government to increase the salaries of those who remained here without following the example set by their colleagues to find greener pastures in foreign universities, MP Dissanayake said. In response Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake responding to the issues raised by JVP MP said that the pay hike demanded by the university teachers was not reasonable at all.
Minister Dissanayake said that the current salaries being paid to the university teachers were sufficient as they had been given an increment recently.