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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 08/22/2012, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Professors and students take to the streets after authorities shut down country's universities

    Melani Manel Perera

    Medical faculties remain open, but the government wants to end the two-month long professors' strike. Teachers want better salaries and more money for education. A mass demonstration is planned for tomorrow.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) - The government of Sri Lanka yesterday ordered the closure of all of the country's universities, except medical faculties. It took the step in response to a two-month long strike by professors. For the authorities, such action is jeopardising students' future. For the Federation of University Teachers' Association (FUTA), the decision by politicians is "stupid and unjust" and will have as a consequence the destruction of the country's educational sector. The Federation announced a mass demonstration in opposition to the closure tomorrow in Colombo.

    FUTA wants the government to invest 6 per cent of GDP in education, raise teachers' salaries and ensure universities' independence from any political interference. Its strike began on 4 July. Since then, all activities on university campuses have stopped.

    Last evening, members of FUTA, religious leaders met at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in order to discuss for the public awereness.

    "The educational system is going through a profound crisis," said the Venerable Shobitha Thero, a Buddhist monk. "What economic aid universities receive is inadequate. This has led to the underfunding of the system. So far, 20 university professors have had to leave the country."

    According to Sanjeewa Bandara, a student union leader, "This problem should trouble the entire population because the crisis disproportionately affects young people, who are our future, and the entire educational system."

    "We should fight together and be committed to the rights FUTA demands," he added, "so that our children can have a free education."

    "Between 2005 and 2020, the government closed 355 schools, forcing students to move to cities and spend a lot more for their education," he explained. "This government is undermining the value of education, trying to turn it into a consumer good."

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    See also

    24/09/2012 SRI LANKA
    A four-day march to revitalise universities
    Thousands of people are joining a new protest by the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA). The latter's strike is already in its third month. Religious leaders urge government and teachers to focus on students, the country's "most precious resource."

    21/09/2006 SRI LANKA
    Catholic Church alarmed country might fall "into a state of anarchy"
    The archbishop of Colombo voices local clergy's concerns about the escalating violence in the country's north-east, calling on the authorities to shed light on the disappearance of Fr Jim Brown.

    10/05/2010 VIETNAM
    Abuse and violence becoming new ideals for young Vietnamese
    A government study suggests that university professors and schoolteachers use threats and tricks against rivals, thus promoting “new values” to the students they teach. Violence has become a normal kind of behaviour in society. More than six million children are exposed to violence and abuse.

    06/07/2012 SRI LANKA
    Christians defend Buddhist professor after he receives death threats
    Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, president of the Federation of University Teachers' Association (FUTA), criticised the government's education policy. Persons unknown threatened him. The Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of thought to all citizens.

    28/04/2010 NEPAL
    Maoists threaten an all-out protest as private schools are closed
    Former Maoist PM Prachanda wants peace process to end with incorporation of Maoist fighters into the armed forces. The government could fall. Maoist student association shuts down private schools that increased tuition fees. More than 100,000 students are unable to go to school. Maoists like religious schools but Catholic schools are still closed.



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