Co-ops in seats of learning - Minister
Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando said
co-operative societies will be set up in all schools and universities
across the country for the benefit of students, teachers and lecturers.
Opening the second day of the "Isuru Saviya" Co-operative National
Festival in Maligapitiya grounds in Kurunegala yesterday, the minister
said the co-operatives would provide a variety of services to its
members. Among them are, sale of books, stationery, IT services and
sports goods required for education and extra curricular activities.
The students will have a first-hand experience of running a
co-operative on sound economic and co-operative principles with the
advice and assistance of teachers and lecturers. Among the major
objectives of the programme are promoting the economic interests of its
members, encouraging thrift, co-operation, self-help and mutual
assistance among its members, promoting and popularizing buying and
selling of educational materials, consumer goods and services on a
co-operative basis, developing entrepreneurial skills of members through
exposure to various types of co-operative activities and inculcating
self-discipline among members, self-reliance, responsibility and
accountability and to provide opportunities for total character
School heads have also been instructed to organize seminars and
conferences at school level to educate students on the importance of the
co-operative movement and its benefits to society.
They have also been instructed to commence co-operative projects.
"It is necessary to increase youth's contribution to the co-operative
movement's development in Sri Lanka. That is why the government has
planned to enroll 300,000 new members to the Co-operative Movement this
year," he added.