Monday, January 13, 2014
S. B. Dissanayaka says reasons 3 year Allied Health Sciences (AHS)
Reducing of the duration of AHS degree
Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayaka yesterday admitted that his decision to reduce the four-year Allied Health Sciences (AHS) degree programme to three years had been made under pressure from the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GEOF).
Minister Dissanayakas told a public meeting in Kandy that the GEOF had opposed the four-year degree and did not allow AHS students to do clinical practices at respective teaching hospitals.
At present, AHS students from the Peradeniya and Ruhuna Universities are staging a Satyagraha at Galaha junction and Galle town respectively and boycotting lectures to protest against the reducing of the duration of the degree.
Minister Dissanayakas said that Vice Chancellors of universities, University Grants Commission (UGC) or Higher Education Ministry could not reverse the decision owing to pressure from the government doctors.
Dissanayakas told The Island few months ago that his ministry had consulted the University of Wales in the United Kingdom when designing the AHS course. The Wales course was also three years. Deaking University of Australia also offered a three-year nursing degree. The Singapore State University’s nursing degree was also a three-year course.
President of the AHS Students’ Union Ranitta Prasad yesterday asked the minister whether a trade union could meddle with the policies of the Higher Education Ministry and the UGC. He accused the minister of simply passing the buck to the GEOF.
"We will not give up our protest until winning the four – year period for our degree," Prasad said.
Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the Peradeniya University Prof. Athula Senaratne said that the Allied Health Sciences Faculty would be closed indefinitely if undergraduates did not return to lectures today.
The new degree courses started in 2006 in Peradeniya, Colombo, Sri Jayewardenepura, Eastern, Rajarata and Ruhuna universities were of a four year duration. The UGC and Higher Education Ministry decided to cut it down to three years from 2009, but it was delayed due to students’ protests.Source - island