It’s unusual that some countries such as New Zealand and Australia
still do not observe the Teachers Day Oct 6 not so popular like the
Fathers’ Day, Mothers’ Day or the Valentine’s Day because there is no
brisk business in giving gifts, flowers, dinners etc. As there is no
such commercialism the Teachers’ Day go unnoticed.
When I saw about the Teachers’ Day celebrations in the Daily News of
October 6 and as I was in China I inquired if this day is observed in
China. So a friend of mine took me to two schools in the Guangzhou
Province and introduced me to the principals.
More than in other countries, in China, teachers are revered both by
the students and the community and by tradition they are assigned a
higher status in the social strata.
Therefore, I was told that on the ‘Teachers’ Day’ the principal walks
around the school giving each teacher a bunch of flowers and a card
thanking him/her for the services to the students and society, while the
students chant ‘Happy Teachers Day’. In the past it had been the custom
to put some money into an envelope and give it with the card because in
China giving money at festivals bring good luck. Students give gifts
such as box of chocolates, flowers, teacups etc., to their favourite
teachers. The day’s lunch for the teachers is provided by the school.
While discussing the above, I also noticed some salient features with
regard to student conduct. Chinese schools appoint a monitor as a leader
to each class. His role is to see that the class is ready when the
teacher arrives. For example, with things such as attendance sheets,
names of absentees, behaviour of students in the absence of the teacher,
writing materials for the white/black-board, functioning of equipment
etc. The monitor has to wait at the door for the teacher and announces
his arrival asking the students to stand up and wish him. The teacher
returns the wishes and asks them to sit down. This may look strange but
I was told all schools follow this tradition.
As in most Asian countries, in China as well, students stand up to
ask or answer a question. They use both hands to offer or accept
anything from/to the teacher. But in the west, students speaking to the
teacher while being seated is allowed. Then in the rural areas in Sri
Lanka we still see the tradition of offering betel leaves and
worshipping the teacher.
An important feature in the Chinese educational system is that it is
not commercialized. For example teachers do not offer private tuition
for money after school. Also there are no mushroom tutories offering
tuition causing stress to both students and parents.
But whichever country, teachers command respect and are treated as
supporting pillors of the nation as it is their task to raise a
disciplined and a literate younger generation. From time immemorial, in
every country teaching had been considered a dignified and a honourable
profession. Therefore, the ‘Teachers’ Day’ recognizes the special role
of the teachers and the dignity of the teaching profession.
I am retired mercantile executive. I maintain a number of Current
Accounts in Commercial Banks. Prior to computerization I used to get my
Bank statement on the 1st or the 2nd of the month on transactions
carried out in the previous month. After computerization I used to
receive my statements by 7th or 8th of the month. Recently I used to get
my statements only on the 15th of the month and sometimes not get is at
On enquiring I was informed that the Banks outsource the dispatch of
statements to private parties. This is an infringement of the secrecy
which banks are supposed to maintain. As the statements are not received
in time the customers are much inconvenienced and also will lead to
frauds as they are unable to report unauthorized debits. I hope the
Central Bank will look into this matter and take remedial measures.
Tracing the history of Sri Lanka, it clearly shows that major
destructive movements sprang up in the years of 1971 and 1989 in the
South and the North. Then, again after a lapse of about two and half
decades they raised their ugly heads and ruined, disrupted, the social,
economical and educational structures of Sri Lanka. Now, the same
ideologists in the South, again planned in a different wavelength, an
adopt a complete different strategy to make this Government
uncomfortable by making false allegations, against the Lifeblood of this
To achieve their ends, this set of bankrupt politicians, who entered
the Parliament is trying to gain cheap publicity through false reports
and disrupt not only the education of the innocent schoolchildren but
also the undergraduate population of the universities. It seems this
vicious circle erupts every ten years or so.
It should be relevant to mention here that during the ‘Reign of
terror’ in 1971 and 1989, these disruptive elements, were totally
responsible in closing the Universities. It was after few years, that
the ‘Back Log’ of the Universities was cleared. This was one of the
greatest tragedies. Education is an investment in a person’s future.
Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the
We must realize the reality.
President Rajapaksa’s Government crushed, annihilated, and totally
defeated the LTTE after three decades and freed this country. The irony
was on the verge of this victory, these reactionary Forces went into
action again and levelled various charges against the Sri Lankan
Government. They were trying to give Oxygen to LTTE cadres. They did
their utmost best to create a dissension between the two Governments Sri
Lanka and India respectively. But the brilliant diplomacy of the
President won the day.
Our votes are very sharp and intelligent. They know which way the
wind is blowing. With the able leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,
the Government is very stable now.
This was clearly shown in the recent Provincial Council elections,
where they were completely routed. The way that they are reacting now
will be their death knell. In a future Parliamentary election they will
learn a bitter lesson. Those who love the country will remain.
These reactionary elements through sheer frustration are now trying
to create problems to the Government.
Their Modus Operandi presently is to tarnish the image of Education
Ministry by making sorts of false allegations.
If you peep into the past, last year with few disgusted, frustrated
Trade Union Personnel, they refrained from making the answer script of
GCE A/L examination. It became a total failure, thanks to the patriotic
At present they adopted the new tactic. This time they made a big hue
and cry by giving false publicity and propaganda stating that a ‘Big
leak in biology paper.’ The Education Ministry and the Commissioner
General of Examination totally denied these false allegations.
We must pay a growing tribute to the Education Ministry who made a
bold statement in the Parliament and announced to the country the
position of the Education Ministry and contradicted the false
We appeal to these gentlemen not to disrupt the good work that is
done by the Government. What they should do is to help the Government.
We all know the Government is presently launching a development program
to uplift the lives of the innocent people of North and East. We must
all stand together and must usher a new era of a United Sri Lanka.
Forget all differences, join hands to develop this country.
The nation that forgets the past has no future!
Make youngsters feel matured when they are 14 by lowering qualifying
age to obtain NIC at 14.
Taking part in a television talk recently, Examinations Commissioner
revealed that many students have got to rush at the last moment to take
their National Identity Cards. It is really a sad situation when
students who should be free before an examination, are frightened by the
possibility of having to lose the chance of sitting the examination
provided they fail to get their identity document.
The students who face this situation are those who are going to sit
for the O/L Examination. It is reported that NIC is a compulsory
document for them to appear for the exam. Some students have not yet
reached 16 when they sit the exam.
Isn’t it better to lower the age one can get NIC to 14 instead of 16?
It will be easy for both parents and children to let children feel
that the documents are ready for the children to sit the exam. It will
keep their minds at rest.
This will be an advantage for not only those who are going to sit
exams but also for those who take part in sports activities too. It will
be advantageous for Security Personnel too to keep juvenile delinquents