Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Budget Debate - Parliament – Appropriation Bill – Committee Stage – Education Ministry

Parliament was discussing the budget votes for Education yesterday, 20th November 2012. It is very sad that Education being one of the Cornerstones of Sri Lanka’s growth, and future was given such Step motherly treatment, firstly by incompetent Government Spokesman who need to be educated on what Education means, and the Opposition spokesman who did not add a memorable argument to the debate.

We can excuse the incompetents and morons in Government, after all it is the people who chose them and we have to live with this muck. It is the lack of clarity and direction of the opposition here that I would like to pick up on.

It must be remembered that the Opposition has far too few members, and therefore a lot sits on the shoulders of the spokesmen. Akila Viraj MP is the opposition spokesman on Education, and one cannot fault him for his views being a product of the Sri Lankan University System. However it lacked depth clarity and consistency.

There is no point rehashing that. Let us look at what should have been said in simple and understandable terms.

The amount allocated for education is woefully small. 95% of the Budget allocation JUST PAYS THE WAGES of teachers, academics, and minor staff. That does not need a budget debate. It is why the balance 5% cannot be 50% that should be the argument.

We need more trained teachers, and merit based remuneration for them. We need to beef up the quality of teaching and give the Teacher Training Colleges the Urgency it needs. Better facilities with teaching tools. More overseas teacher trainers using WB assistance and proper management of these schools. None of them have permanent heads, only temporary heads.

We need different syllabuses that are in keeping with current thinking. We need schools equipped with the latest techniques. Distance learning must be made a priority as it is cheap and requires much less investment. The modules of the best teachers in the world must be open to our students.

The English IT emphasis must be real and not like the govt. made a few years ago, just a PR ploy for gullible consumption. JUST A THOUGHT

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