Volunteer teachers extend their protest to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 24 March 2003, 19:25 GMT]
The five zonal education offices in the Jaffna district did not function Monday following the sit-in-protest by volunteer teachers who demand that they should be made permanent as approved by the cabinet and the newly formed Public Services Commission of the central government, sources said.

Members of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) and part time English teachers also joined in the sit-in-protest, sources said.

In the meantime, the sit-in-protest launched by the North East Tamil Medium Volunteer Teachers Federation in front of the Provincial Ministry of Education in Trincomalee on March 3 entered its 22nd day Monday. Members of the CTTU, led by its general secretary, Mr.T.Mahasivam, participated in the sit-in-protest in Trincomalee expressing their solidarity to the cause of volunteer teachers, sources said.

Teachers protest.
A section of women teachers participating in the sit-in-protest in front of NE Provincial Ministry of Education in Trincomalee.
In the Jaffna protest, volunteer teachers, members of the CTTU and part time English teachers blocked the main gates of the zonal education offices of Vadamarachchi, Thenmaradchchi, the Islands, Valigamam and Jaffna. Education officials and employees working in these offices did not report for duty as they were prevented from entering their offices, sources said.

Meanwhile, the CTTU Monday sent an urgent letter to the Prime Minister registering its strong opposition to the government's proposal to hold a fresh examination to volunteer teachers before making them permanent, sources said.

The CTTU’s general secretary wrote in the letter that the CTTU “ totally opposed” the suggestion to hold an examination to volunteer teachers once again.

“Interviews have already been held and the names of selected volunteer teachers have been displayed on the notice boards of the Provincial Department of Education and of zonal education offices. The newly appointed Public Services Commission also has approved the list of volunteer teachers submitted by the provincial education ministry,” the CTTU letter said, and reiterated its position that holding a fresh examination at this stage for volunteer teachers is unjustifiable.

 

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