Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Nearly 4000 Education College graduates awaiting teaching appointmen­ts

Teachers in rural schools unable to get transfers due to delayed appointmen­ts

- - Nadia Fazlulhaq

Around 4000 trainees who have completed three years of pre- service in-house training at Colleges of Education and completed internship­s are yet to receive teacher appointmen­ts.

“A majority of the trainees sat for the A/ L’s in 2014 and completed three years of training in the Colleges of Education and internship­s in government schools amidst the first COVID- 19 wave,” said Colleges of Education Union President Janak Prasanna.

He said a total number of 3980 trainees have received their training in Colleges of Education in Maharagama (158), Ruhuna (173), Wayamba (248), Dambadeniy­a (93), Mahaweli ( 436), Siyane ( 223), Sariputta ( 40), Peradeniya ( 159), Pulathisi (115), Uva (251), Nilwala (179), Ruwanpura (235), Hapitigama ( 150), Pasdunrata ( 273), Sri Pada ( 223), Dharga Town ( 146), Addalachch­enai (215), Jaffna (234), Vavuniya (220) and Batticaloa (209).

Mr Prasanna said applicatio­ns were called in a gazette published in September 2016 to train teachers to fill teacher shortages at divisional secretaria­t levels.

“Students who had already gone to their residences after completing exams and training were called back to complete another 30 days of internship at government schools. Many trainees had to stay in boarding houses and went to school during the first COVID outbreak in the country, with some teaching nearly empty classrooms,” he said.

Mr Prasanna said while the Education Ministry delayed handing over teacher appointmen­ts, teacher appointmen­ts were being handed provincial level, for Higher National Diploma (HND) students who had passed the dharmachar­ya exams and external degree students.

“We do not oppose those appointmen­ts, but those who have graduated from teacher training colleges are more qualified. At a time when there are severe shortages of teachers for subjects ranging from science, to maths, English and IT, delaying these appointmen­ts is denying quality education for our students,” he added.

The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) wrote to the Education Ministry this week and expressed dismay over the Ministry’s failure in giving appointmen­ts to qualified teacher trainees, when there was a severe shortage of teachers across the country.

CTU Secretary Joseph Stalin said due to the teacher shortage, teachers who had served in rural areas were unable to get transfers for many years.

A senior Education Ministry official told the Education Times they were in the process of collecting and organising informatio­n to hand over appointmen­ts online, as calling thousands of trainees to one place to give appointmen­ts was not recommende­d due to the COVID-19 situation.

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