The top leadership of the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) including its president, Dr. Rangika Halwatura and five others have formally tendered their resignations citing ethical reasons concerning the Grade One admission related demand of the majority of the membership to enroll their children to the best schools.
Dr. Halwatura cited that the strong stand taken by them with regard to the elimination of ragging could also have made them unpopular.
He said that a similar demand made by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) was unethical.
He added that since 2012, the FUTA had sought to fight for a strong education system which provided equal opportunities, status and facilities for all.
Meanwhile, Dr Halwatura noted that reforms were needed in education and higher education as matters cannot go on in the present context.
“The country should move with the world and adopt international benchmarks. Change however must be sustainable,” he said.
“The education system is not up to the level where it should be, where everybody gets an equal chance. There is a disparity. Doctors, engineers and lecturers are recognized as professionals by the society. As academics, it is our duty to uplift the education system to make the facilities the same for all”.
Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. H.M. Nalinda P. Herath observed that while Dr. Halwatura’s opinion was true for the academics in universities, it did not apply to doctors who are subject to transfers every four years, which as a result made proving one’s residency a problem.
“Until retirement, the university academic can stay in the same university. The schooling circular with criterion for school admission thus does not become an issue for them. This is not however practical for the doctors,” he pointed out.
“Our perception of the response of the Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam is that his response constitutes an act of political revenge. We are hopeful that Sirisena will provide us with a reasonable solution to this problem”.