CAET appeals to PM in support of volunteer teachers

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 March 2003, 01:34 GMT]
The Council for Advancement of Education of Tamils (CAET) which has its headquarters at Paravipanchan in Killinochchi Thursday appealed to the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe to take meaningful action to give permanent appointment to the volunteer teachers who are carrying out a protest supported by teachers from many districts of Northeast. .

"The non-violent demonstration of the volunteer teachers has greatly disrupted and hampered the educational activities in schools and the student population. It is also unfortunate that many schools functioning with one teacher have to be closed down," states the letter sent by the CAET to the Prime Minister.

The full text of the letter signed by the President Rev Fr G.A.Francis Joseph and Secretary Mr.V.Yoganathan of the CAET follows: -

"You are well aware that for the past one decade it is the volunteer teachers who have contributed much to make good the damage done by the acute shortage of teachers in the schools of northeast province. They have been serving for many years with much dedication and efficiency without any pay. Their hopes of being absorbed as permanent teachers have not materialized, as promises made to them have not been fulfilled. As one who has dedicated himself to the creation of an environment of peace and normalcy in our land, we firmly believe that you would show concern and compassion towards the cause of the volunteer teachers.

"In all educational zones in the northeast province, there are about 6200 vacancies in teaching positions. To minimize damage caused to the educational activities in schools by the shortage of teachers, volunteer teachers had to be recruited from time to time, without any payment of salary. Volunteer teachers have also undergone service training. These volunteer teachers play an important role in implementing the new educational reforms. Their services in the Primary Section have been exceptionally creditable.

"Realizing the importance and the need of the services of the volunteer teachers, the Ministry of Education requested the Zonal Directors of Education to hold interviews so that these teachers would be made permanent. Though three years have elapsed, on basis of the interview, two lists A and B were prepared on the understanding that these teachers would be given permanent appointments, only those in the list A have so far been made permanent, while those in the list B are still awaiting approval.

"Volunteer teachers, who have not been given permanent appointment, are now engaged in non-violent demonstrations in an effort to get their status changed as permanent teaching staff.

"We humbly request your to give highest priority to this matter so that the volunteer teachers can go back to work and the disruption in education of children is not prolonged."

 

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