Prof. Rajiva wants due recognition for his party

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha who left the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) as the first group to attack the then reigned Mahinda Rajapaksa government was garlanded as the State Minister for Higher Education by the new government.

He was one of the pioneers to leave the UPFA with then MP Maithripala Sirisena and several others. He assumed duties at his ministry recently and speaking to the media today, expressed his disappointment over the way Cabinet portfolios of the Sirisena regime were given. While he had been appointed as the State Minister, one of the UNP seniors, Kabir Hashim had been appointed as the Cabinet Minister of the same subject.

Prof Wijesinha's claim was the minority parties like the Liberal Party and Up-Country People's Front were not given due recognition. He intended that even the minority parties like his also should have been considered. However, he said that he had no worries as he could work with a minister like Kabir Hashim.

ප්රතිසංස්කරණ න්යායපත්රය 4 - පාසැල් අද්‍යාපනය සඳහා සංශෝධන මාලාවක්

ප්රතිසංස්කරණ න්යායපත්රය 4 - පාසැල් අද්‍යාපනය සඳහා සංශෝධන මාලාවක්

ud iu. jevlrk l=vd lKavdhug wu;rj fjk;a who ixfYdaOk ms<sn|j lghq;= lrk nj oek .ekSfuka uu buy;a i;=gg m;a jqfkus' md;a*hskav¾ moku jsiska ili lrk ,o foaYmd,k mCI i|yd m%;sm;a;s ud,djla <.|S ud fj; ,enqks' ud is;k wdldrhg  md;a*hskav¾ moku ckdOsm;s;=udf.a WmfoaYl jrfhl=o jk us,skao fudrf.dv uy;d jsiska mj;ajdf.k hk wdh;khls' tu ksid Tyqf.a WmfoaYho .eTqrsk i,lk njla fmfka'

ud is;k wdldrhg fuu woyia b;d jeo.;a"m%fhdackj;a tajd jk w;r tajd flgsfhka  ixIsma; ks¾foaY f,i jsjsO jsIhhka hgf;a m<lrkjdkus tajd ish¿ fokdgu myiqfjka jgyd .; yels jkq we;' Tjqka jsiska lrk fhdackd miqjo ud Ndjs;d lsrSug n,dfmdfrd;a;= jk w;r" oekg Tjqka jsiska lrk ,o wOHdmk mqyqKqj iy ksmqk;d m%j¾Okh ms<sn| woyia fj; fk;a fhduq lruq' Tjqka m%ldY lrk ish¿u ldrKdj,g mdfya ud tl. jk w;r" wod, fldgi iusmQ¾Kfhkau fuys kej; m%ldY lsrSu jgS'

;joqrg;a Y%S ,xldfjs j¾Ok Wmdh ud¾.h wvq wdodhus Y%uh u; mokus jsh fkdyel' ixj¾Okfha B<. wjOsh mqyqKq ksmqk Y%uh iy ;dCIKsl wOsfY%aKs.; lsrSus uQ,sl lr .; hq;=h'udkj iusm;a j, rfgs oshqKqjg we;s NkaOkSh ndOdj jsh yel'

A Reform Agenda: 4 – School Education

I was delighted to find that the small group with which I am working are not the only people putting forward suggestions for reform. Recently I was sent a document prepared by the Pathfinder Foundation which puts forward a policy agenda for political parties. The Pathfinder Foundation is I think run by Milinda Moragoda, who is also an adviser to the President, so it looks like his advice too is not taken seriously.

I think the ideas they have put forward are most interesting, and potentially productive, and I have urged that they too issue short, compact recommendations for different subjects, since that will make their ideas more accessible to all. With due attribution I might make use of some more of their proposals, but here I will look at what they have written with regard to 'Education, training and skills development'. I find myself in agreement with almost everything they say, and I think it worth reproducing that section in full here –

Sri Lanka can no longer depend on a growth strategy which leverages low wages. The next phase of development will have to be driven by more skilled labour and technological upgrading. The lack of human resources could well become the binding constraint which restrains the country's development prospects.

A Reform Agenda: 5 – School Administration And Resources

The last few years have seen vast sums of money expended on schools, but this has been mainly in the area of construction. There has been little concern with improving the actual quality of education. The impression created is that the work done is seen largely as a means to an end not actually connected with education. Leaving aside the large profit margins available when construction becomes an end in itself, there is also a political agenda. This is obvious from the large number of computer laboratories, for instance, that remain unopened, waiting for a politician's convenience to claim that this is his gift to the people.

The perversity that dominates educational policy was in fact asserted by the Minister of Education who claimed, when I asked about the failure to commission these laboratories, that the people should know who had gifted them the facilities. I pointed out that these were not gifts from politicians since the money to construct them was the money of the people. The Minister granted I had a point, and said he would move on the matter, but the movement was mainly in Uva, where the President dashed about the place opening facilities which had remained closed until the election. I found this out when I followed up with an inquiry, for statistics from all Provinces. Only the North Central Province has thus far responded – there are 75 schools there where the computer labs have been built, but remain unopened. Doubtless there and elsewhere there will be a flurry of activity before the Presidential election.

A Reform Agenda: 3 – Administrative Reform

During my visits in the last couple of years to all the Divisional Secretariats in the North and East, I realized that little had been done to implement the proposal in President Mahinda Rajapaksa's manifestos regarding more consultation of the people. Regular meetings did not take part at village level, and the supposed Divisional Development Committees met sporadically. Their conclusions were not recorded systematically, and there was no provision for follow up. Indeed in one area it was reported that the Member of Parliament, who chaired the meetings, ignored decisions and did what he wanted, and this was confirmed by the Government Agent. Elsewhere the Committees had not met for months.


I wrote to some of my colleagues and suggested they should take their responsibilities more seriously. I also suggested to the President, in my end of year report as Adviser on Reconciliation, how systems could be developed. But there was no response, except once when he told me, when I spoke to him about the need for better consultation, to talk to Basil. I told him I could not, since Basil never listened, as I had learnt from previous experience, so the President told me to write to Lalith, which I did, for the umpteenth time. Nothing happened, and instead I discovered this year that the chairmanship of the DDCs was being used to give MPs massive sums of money, over Rs 600 million in some cases, to spend on what they saw as development.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next > End >>

Page 5 of 7