Concerns were raised at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education stating that when those from the teacher service being absorbed into the In-Service Advisor service there is a disparity in the pay grade promised and the pay grade actually given. Thus, when being absorbed as an In-Service Advisor, the aggrieved parties stated that what they receive is below the Salary earned.
The said matters were taken into consideration at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education held recently (11) in Parliament Chaired by Hon. (Dr.) V. Radhakrishnan.
The Committee was of the view that appointments should be temporarily postponed until the matter is resolved because it is not just to be given a lesser amount than the Salary earned following years of service when being absorbed as an In-Service Advisor. Moreover, the The Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Leder of the Opposition who was present at the Committee meeting held inquired the officials what measures have been taken to fill the 1,982 vacancies existing in the In-Service Advisor positions. Moreover, the Leder of the Opposition inquired regarding the rising concern regarding the duties and scope of work of the positions of In-Service Advisor.
Accordingly, the Committee was of the view that while many issues are in existence, forcing teachers to accept being absorbed into the In-Service Advisor cannot be accepted and therefore need to be discussed further.
The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education also took into discussion the suitable mechanism to monitor the Nursery Education and Nursery Schools in Sri Lanka. The official present stated that The National Policy for Pre-School Education was published on the website of the Ministry of Education for nearly a month for the purpose of obtaining public opinion. Accordingly, an Action Plan on the National Policy for Pre-School Education has so far been drafted with the participation of all relevant institutions and departments, the officials said.
The Committee was of the view that given that there are different policies operating provincially, bringing the Nursery Education and Nursery Schools under a national policy governed under one umbrella is required.
Moreover, in consideration of early childhood and nursery education, discussions were held regarding regulating private tuition classes during Sundays, public holidays etc. The Committee further highlighted that the contents of the syllabus need to be looked into as certain chapters even contain content which justify discrimination against women. The Committee thus recommended to consider these matters simultaneously along with the education reform programme.
The Committee also inquired about the progress of the Mid-day-Meal programme adopted at schools across the Country. The officials present stated that 1.8 million students are being given the lunch covering 7,926 schools.
Members of Parliament, the Hon. (Ms.) Rohini Kumari Wijerathna, the Hon. (Mrs.) Manjula Dissanayake and the Hon. (Prof.) Charitha Herath, were present, were present at the Committee while the Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Leder of the Opposition and the Hon. Chandima Weerakkody were present at the meeting by leave of the Chair of the Committee.