Controversial teacher transfers in East suspended

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 June 2011, 12:26 GMT]
The controversial teacher transfer scheme in the districts and education zones of the Eastern province has been suspended due to the stiff opposition by teachers and students, sources in the East said. The transfer scheme, the brainchild of the militarized civil administration's governor, Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema, and Provincial Director of Education, M.T.A.Nizam, gave preference to Sinhalese and discriminated other communities based on political bias, teacher trade unions alleged.

The transfer scheme was formulated in contravention to the national teacher transfer policy without consulting teacher trade unions in the middle of the year.

The transfer scheme was first implemented in Chammathu'rai education zone with effect from June 14.

Parents, students and teachers stormed the office of the Chammathu'rai zonal education office on Wednesday and demanded the transfer scheme should be withdrawn immediately.

Parents complained that due to middle year teacher transfers the education of Grade 5 students, G.C.E.(O/L), and G.C.E.(A/L) have been badly affected. The police were summoned to the site to bring the tense situation under control and to disperse the protestors.

Thereafter, the Provincial Education Director contacted the Provincial Governor over the phone and briefed him about the volatile situation prevailing in the area. The Education Director told the protestors that the transfers of teachers have been suspended for two weeks.

Meanwhile, teacher trade unions are likely to launch further action against the transfer scheme and to seek legal remedy in law courts, sources said.


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