President pays attention to issues faced by tuition teachers
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has agreed to several proposals put forward by the All Island Professional Educators’ Association concerning issues that arise when recommencing tuition classes.
Tuition classes were temporarily closed by the government in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka.
When pointed out the difficulties pertaining to limiting the number of students per classroom to 250 when the average attendance is 1,000, the President granted permission to conduct classes for 500 students in two-time slots after consulting with health authorities.
These decisions were taken during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (29) to find solutions to issues faced by both students and teachers with the recommencing of tuition classes.
Students in AL and OL classes lost the opportunity to pursue their studies for more than 5 months due to the Easter Sunday Attacks in 2019 and the COVID–19 global pandemic this year. Students sitting for the Grade 5 Scholarship examination too face a similar situation. Tuition teachers requested the President to consider these facts and explore the possibility of postponing relevant examinations.
The President instructed the Minister of Education to reconsider examination dates after consultation with teachers, students and parents.
On several occasions, teachers, students and parents have pointed out the failure to cover the syllabuses due to the closing down of schools in the wake of COVID-19.
The President advised the Commissioner of Examinations to increase the number of questions under a particular paper enabling students to have multiple choices.
The current Educational Service Tax stands at 24%. The President also agreed to consider the request made by tuition teachers to amend this percentage.
The President also approved the distribution of leaflets to promote tuition classes adhering to health guidelines. His attention was also drawn to the proposal submitted by the Buddhist Advisory Council not to hold tuition classes on Sunday mornings and on Full Moon Poya days.
The Teachers expressed their fullest consent to refrain from holding tuition classes on Poya Days.
It was also decided to review the possibility of cancelling tuition classes on Sunday mornings which are limited to AL students.
The All Island Professional Educators ‘Association commended the President for his leadership in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and in ensuring the progress of all sectors of the economy.
Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Education N.H.M. Chithrananda, Health Secretary Major General (Retd.) Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Commissioner General of Examinations B. Sanath Pujitha, Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, and a group of representatives of several tuition class associations attended the discussion.