Students protest over shortage of teachers

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 June 1999, 20:27 GMT]
Students of the College of Education at Patana in the hill country, who are protesting against the school´s management for dismissing 8 of their colleagues, have been ordered to vacate the college hostel by tomorrow morning by the Senior Superintendent of Police in Nuwara Eliya, sources said.

However students said that they are not going to leave the college hostel under any circumstances until their demands are met.

Patana College of Education is one of the eleven such colleges in the island to train students who have scored the highest marks below the threshold of the University entrance requirements.

Sources said that 8 students were dismissed by the Commissioner for Colleges of Education last week for allegedly assaulting a member of the non academic staff of the institution over an argument.

Students, both Tamils and Sinhalese, are jointly engaged in a protest against the management as a result.

"There are 330 Tamil and 139 Sinhalese students in the college. There are enough lecturers for the Sinhala section while there are only 8 lecturers for the Tamil section," explained students.

"All the students of the college are demanding that the shortage of lecturers in the Tamil section be filled immediately," they said.

Meanwhile, the students of the Teachers Training College at Kotagala a few miles away from Patana were on also on a token strike in support of the Patana College of Education students sources said.

Thousands of students in Bogawantalawa and Hatton, two key towns in the hill country, were conducting a picket in support of the College of Education students.

Sources further said that well-wishers and parents of Patana College of Education have launched a telegram campaign demanding the Sri Lankan Minister of Education and Higher Education and the President to intervene immediately into the matter and find a solution for the students demands.


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