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President vows to safeguard school education from disruptions

July 04, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasised yesterday (03) that no disruptions to school education between 7.30 am and 1.30 pm will be tolerated.

He has instructed the Attorney General to explore additional measures to ensure this.

The President highlighted the need for uninterrupted education for children, stating, “It is crucial that school closures and strikes do not impede the learning of our children. Our focus must be on future generations.”

He criticised school strikes as harmful and unwarranted, noting, “In 2022, during President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tenure, the only salary increase was for teachers. This year, we provided a Rs.10,000 stipend to all government employees. Considering the country’s economic situation, further increases are not viable. Some trade unions have called for additional salary revisions, which is surprising given that teachers have already received two increments.”

These remarks were made during a ceremony at Temple Trees on the 3rd, where appointments were given to officers of the Education Administrative Service, as well as teaching positions to graduates and diploma holders.

The President called on everyone to prioritise children’s education and urged the opposition not to support disruptive actions.

He mentioned discussions with the Education Minister about future teacher transfers and promotions through an online system to ensure fairness.

President Wickremesinghe underscored the importance of dedication in the teaching profession, noting that education cannot flourish without discipline.

He awarded appointments to 60 individuals approved by the Education Service Committee of the Public Service Commission, as well as teaching positions to 1,706 graduates and 453 English diploma holders.

He remarked, “Today, you are assuming a significant responsibility. Even during the past two years of economic hardship, funding for education was increased. Teachers were recruited for both current and future needs, reflecting our commitment to the country’s future.”

Emphasising the government’s dedication to preparing the next generation with modern knowledge and technology, President Wickremesinghe stated, “Our future lies with our children. This is a responsibility we all share.”

He concluded by stressing the need for discipline in education, comparing the role of teachers to that of military officers who train adults.

“If we do not protect the country’s education system and allow disruptions, we jeopardise our future generation,” he warned.

To ensure economic growth, President Wickremesinghe set an ambitious goal: “In the next 20-25 years, we should aim to raise our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from US$ 85 billion to at least US$ 350 billion for the benefit of future generations.”

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