Minister vows to end ragging
Higher Education Minister S.B.Dissanayake yesterday vowed to put a
full stop to ragging new student entrants at universities. He said that
authorities would not hesitate to take tough action including possible
expulsion of students found guilty of ragging in order to protect new
Minister S.B. Dissanayake
The Minister said that since of late, ragging had become abusive in
nature with new entrants being subjected to both physical and mental
‘Today ragging targets to destroy students’ personality, confidence
and skills. We would ensure that this would not happen in the future”
the minister said addressing the inauguration of a three-week in-house
program to develop leadership abilities and positive thinking among new
During the launch of the programme at Temple Trees under the auspices
of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a three-month pre-orientation
non-residential course in English, IT and soft skills which follows the
above too was introduced.
Commenting on future plans the minister said that the higher
education system in Sri Lanka would be upgraded in order to improve the
employability of under graduates. He said that authorities would strive
to enhance University education in line with the best global practices.
The minister said that the intention of the three-week course was to
develop leadership abilities and positive attitudes among the new
He also rubbished claims made that this was a military training and
said that this was done by vested interests with malicious intent.
Explaining reasons behind choosing military training facilities for
the programme, the minister pointed out that the only institution which
had the capability to provide in-house training to over 10,000 at the
same time was the military and thanked them for coming forward to help
the students. The minister laid special emphasis on improving IT and
English skills of the students. He said that all Universities would be
made wi-fi zones and students would be provided with lap tops. He also
noted that the three-week course would be followed by a three-month
pre-orientation programme in improving English, IT and Soft Skills of
new university entrants in 300 separate locations throughout the
country. Students can choose a location closest to their home, he added.
Speaking on plans to establish non-governmental international
universities the minister said these could help the large majority of
Sri Lankan students who fail to enter State Universities due to the lack
of a few marks.
He said that the government would lay down a rule which stipulates
the private Universities to reserve 20 percent of its allocations to
eligible Sri Lankan students free of charge.
He was of the opinion that with the advent of non – governmental
international universities, Sri Lanka would be able to increase its
student intake from 22000 at present to 32000 in the next 2-3 years.
He also said that a small amount of overseas students would be
accommodated at Sri Lankan state universities for a fee. He was of the
opinion that if state universities could allocate 10 percent of its
intake to foreign students for a fee they could meet all their
In turn we could use the money we spend at present to establish new
universities and enhance education facilities, the minister opined. He
also noted that plans were afoot to encourage wider use of English in
University education curriculum.
If one is to look at the world above one’s horizon, he or she should
fly in intelligence. For this purpose we should encourage the wider use
of English to enable our students to work anywhere in the globe with
confidence. Also they need to, cultivate physical and mental discipline.
We would provide all assistance to students to achieve the above, the