Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Ten-shun! Army begins to shake up lacklustre public service

- By Nadia Fazlulhaq

Military-led training for future government servants commenced this week in 51 army centres, with the first batch of 10,000 graduates learning how to work more efficientl­y and earn respect as the government resolves to energise the public sector.

Participan­ts will receive threeweek residentia­l training at security force headquarte­rs, regimental headquarte­rs and army training schools.

Army spokesman Brigadier Chandana Wickremasi­nghe said the programme will concentrat­e on leadership and team-building training, management training, training in private and state sector establishm­ents, project work and field studies, cohesivene­ss and resilience.

Graduates will be groomed in commitment, self- confidence, dedication and interest in their work to earn society’s respect and recognitio­n.

The graduate orientatio­n programme will be conducted in five batches ( September 14 to October 3, October 12- 31, November 9- 28, December 7- 26 and January 4-21 next year.

Graduates have been asked to bring trackpants, white tee-shirts and canvas shoes/sports shoes for outdoor training and fitness programmes. They will also be asked to show a medical certificat­e and their National Identity Card.

Leave will not be permitted unless in an emergency. The use of phones will be banned during lesson-time.

All 50,000 graduates will receive Rs. 20,000 during the training period, directly deposited into their bank accounts.

The project is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Defence and coordinate­d and supervised at all seven security force headquarte­rs levels.

Disabled, clergy and pregnant graduates will continue their training in their respective district or divisional secretaria­ts. While 10,000 graduates are being trained at military bases, the other 40,000 will be receiving training at divisional secretaria­ts at their areas until their batch is called for training.

Lecture topics will include the Constituti­on, the state service, social services, archeologi­cal sites and their importance, youth and sports, the country’s social and economic goals, data collection, land management, poverty reduction, agricultur­e and irrigation management, developmen­t planning, child rights, women’s affairs, and wildlife and forest conservati­on.

The trainees will be taken to state institutio­ns in their areas to observe how these institutio­ns function.

The Director- General of the

Combined Services Division of the Public Services, S. Alokabanda­ra, said job placements for the graduates will take place from the end of January 2021.

“Once all 50,000 graduates have received the orientatio­n training, placements will take place. In the applicatio­n it was requested that graduates state their fields of interest and their areas they are qualified in. Based on that, they will definitely be assigned,” he said.

“These graduates most probably won’t be unemployed as there are so many sectors that are in need of educated persons, from agrarian services to rural s ch o o l e d u c at i o n , ” M r. Alokabanda­ra said.

The army said preventive measures against infection from COVID-19 are in place at the graduate training centres, with instructor­s and trainees asked to maintain safe distance, use masks and observe other rules. The army will avoid using personnel returning from vacation or work-related absence from camp until health clearance is obtained.

 ?? Courtesy Sri Lanka Army ?? First batch of 10,000 graduates undergoing the military-led training programme.
Courtesy Sri Lanka Army First batch of 10,000 graduates undergoing the military-led training programme.
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