The Ceylon Teachers'
Union (CTU) accused the government of planning to reduce the number of schools
to 6,000 from the current 9,662, as part of the 1,000 Schools Development
Project. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, said that Education Minister,
Bandula Gunawardena, is focusing on developing only the schools selected for
the 1,000 Schools Development Project and the 5,000 primary schools, which are
to go hand-in-hand with the 1,000 Schools Development Project.
The Ministry of
Education plans to develop 1,000 secondary schools and 5,000 primary schools,
in order to lessen the demand for 'popular' schools. Highlighting Minister
Gunawardena's recent statement in Parliament, that over 30 schools have been
closed down over the last seven months, Stalin charged that the minister
planned to shut down all but the 6,000 schools which will be developed under
the Development Project.
"The ministry is
providing human and physical infrastructure only to the schools which fall
under the Development Project, and all others are left to crumble. Mega schools
are being developed and the small ones are dying a natural death. When such
things happen, students in rural areas will simply drop out of school and lose
out on education. The rich will become richer, and the poor, poorer," he
said. Regardless of the number of students in a school, each school has a duty
to provide education to every student, and schools cannot be shut down on the
whims and fancies of politicians, he added. Extract From Online CeylonToday