|Wednesday, 26 March 2003|
by Trincomalee correspondent
Trincomalee district MP R. Sampanthan who is also the leader of the Parliamentary group of Alliance of Tamil Parties in a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe states that over 5,500 vacancies exist for Tamil medium teachers in the different districts in the North-East Province. These vacancies have remained unfilled for many years.
Due to the non-recruitment of Tamil medium teachers in the North-East for a long period and consequent to severe shortage of Tamil medium teachers in the North-East, several young persons with GCE (Advanced Level) qualifications had served for long periods of time as volunteer teachers in the North-East, particularly in the more difficult areas.
The previous government granted Cabinet approval for the appointment of 3,000 Tamil medium teachers in the North-East classified as follows:- 1,000 from amongst volunteer teachers with requisite qualifications, 1,000 graduate teachers and 1,000 GCE (A/L) qualified teachers. Applications were called and interviews held for the appointment of 1,000 teachers from amongst the volunteer teachers and 1,000 graduate teachers.
After necessary inquiries and interviews around 1,000 persons who had served as volunteer teachers were selected for appointment as Tamil medium teachers from the different districts in the North-East.
Out of the 1,000 graduates appointments to be made, around 800 appointments have already been made as per Cabinet approval granted and the balance appointments are to be made shortly.
After the assumption of office by the UNF Government all appointments were frozen due to financial constraints. Finance Ministry approval was therefore sought recently for the appointment of teachers which had not yet been made as per the Cabinet approval already granted.
Volunteer teachers chosen for appointment as Tamil medium teachers from various districts in the NEP are presently engaged in a Satyagraha in front of the Education Ministry of the North-East Provincial Council at Trincomalee. Their grievance is that despite being selected for appointment as per Cabinet approval they have not yet been appointed.
In the meantime the general secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) T. Mahasivam in a statement has stated that the CTTU membership will resort to trade union action unless the problem of volunteer teachers was solved within a period of one week. They are performing 'Satyagraha' opposite the Provincial Ministry of Education from 3rd March.
Produced by Lake House