Untrained graduates to teaching cadre creates issues- Education Director
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
Recruiting graduates from time to time to overcome the graduate unemployment issue has created a dilemma for the Education Ministry in protecting the rights of children and stopping physical abuse of children in classrooms, Director of Education, Education Ministry, Badra Withanage lamented.
Responding to concerns raised by President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), Dr. Padma Gunaratne regarding regular training and awareness created among school teachers to prevent physical abuse of children by meting out corporal punishment, she noted that as a result there were a large number of graduate teachers who were teaching primary grades.
“It requires proper training which they lack. But from time to time graduates are offered jobs as a solution to the unemployment problem. Their appointments are given immediately after just three weeks of training as opposed to those who qualify from the National Institute of Education,” Withanage said.
The graduates, she noted were trained by various Faculties in Universities which lacked the practical knowledge of classroom management. They have no knowledge of the methods of identifying and understanding of the problems faced by children, their issues and mental status. The Director said that earlier the practice had been to recruit teachers from National Colleges of Education.
There was a Counselling Unit which trained teachers from time to time. However, the lack of a proper training programme in place to update and educate teachers was a severe shortcoming in the Ministry, she added.