School News

Teaching would be made essential service if teachers not present during class hours: President

Thursday, 27th of June 2024

President Ranil Wickremesinghe warned that the teaching profession will have to be designated as an essential service if teachers are not committed to being present in schools during school hours, and schoolchildren will be deprived of education as a result. He said this when he met Malwatu Chapter Chief Prelates on Thursday (27). He emphasised the significance of teachers’ roles in shaping students’ future, and the necessity to take into account the effects that teachers’ participation in protests and strikes has on youngsters.

According to President Wickremesinghe, the teaching profession as a whole is not impacted by this situation. He noted only a select group of politically-linked teachers are participating, and he blamed their activities for the harm caused to the profession as a whole. The country’s economic and budgetary realities are disregarded by the protesters, who are motivated by political goals ahead of the elections. Teachers’ involvement in this situation devalues the teaching profession and provides a negative example for children, he said.

Teachers will receive salary increases next year, with an average increase of Rs3,000 to 17,000. Other government officials’ salaries will also be adjusted, with an additional Rs10,000 increase, resulting in total raises ranging from Rs13,000 to Rs27,000, the President said. The Cabinet is considering a unified approach to increase government officials’ salaries starting from 2025, noting that only Sinhala schools currently engage in trade union actions. President Wickremesinghe added that plans for a new building complex at the University of Peradeniya are in the works, as is the creation of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kandy. -NA

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