Sunday, July 8, 2012
Can the University Teachers Petition Bend the Sri Lankan State?
The University teachers have taken on more than they can chew, hoping that in the process they can get the Public to warm to them and hence they can at the same time win their concessions through the back door. They obviously do not want to sound like other trade unions fighting for a bigger paycheck as that in essence what it all boils down to!
They are simply opportunists no more no less. First let me state I am completely anti-government and against this shameless dictatorship style of regime that rules this country. So to allay any fears that I am a govt. stooge putting their point of view, it could not be further from the truth.
I am also a product of an overseas education, and degree and professional qualifications, dedicating my life for the betterment of education and vocation and employment of youth in Sri Lanka. I am therefore all too aware of the raw material I have to deal with in empowering youth, training future leaders, giving them life skills, and generally attempting to give self confidence in being able to get ahead in Sri Lanka, by their OWN steam and not be beholden to others to place them or otherwise employ them through contacts or as a favor!
The University teachers have legitimate grounds to use whatever means to achieve their objectives, but encompassing the demand to improve education into it is a whole different kettle of fish. Their demands debase the completely different but even more important need for a clear education policy that covers the whole gamut of education from Montessori! So my appeal is to uncouple this from their agitation, petition and stick to their basic demands.
They have as it were stolen our main concern about our country not doing justice to its young citizens by providing them with the armor to survive, progress and hopefully excel in whatever field they lay their hands on. If we permit the University teachers to fight that battle, it belittles and weakens the war, as they are mere aspects of the whole problem, a sub species as it were.
So going back to the theme above, yes they can attempt to bend the state, but in so doing they will destroy the chances of a better education policy for the country a wholly different and more important fight ahead.
Let the trade union action they are involved be just that and not muddle it up in mist and fog. Do the country a favor and decide what your real beef is. How much state resources will you be happy with? Why 6% for the State? How about 4% for the state and 10% for private? then it works at 14% of GNP being spent on Education. Then we go into the question of is it wasted or spent productively. You just get into a whole can or worms. How about the fact that there are more teachers in the private tertiary sector in Sri Lanka today, who do not belong to FUTA. Are you an exclusive club of only Academics of the 15 State Universities?
When the public are included, they must be shown the whole picture, otherwise you are as bad as the government trying to deceive people with the perpetual smoke and mirrors tricks. Do not fall into the same trap.