Teachers earned less than kottu makers and it was only natura that they were downhearted, Parliament was told yesterday (1).
Matale District SJB MP Rohini Kumari Wijeratne said that the analogy was not made with the intention of denigrating the kottu makers but to highlight the present plight of the teachers. “This is the situation in the country and how the teachers are being treated. Even Minister Bandula Gunawardena admitted in public once that the salary of a teacher was very much less than the amount earned by a kottu baas Teachers are demoralised and the frustration will keep many capable persons with knowledge from entering the teaching profession.”
Raising a question supplementary to a listed question by her Badulla District colleague, Chaminda Wijesiri, MP Wijeratne said Education Minister Prof G. L. Peiris had last week told Parliament that teachers would be paid an interim allowance until their salary anomalies were rectified and demanded to know when that payment would be made available.
Prof Peiris said that there was a salary anomaly issue in the teaching profession. “We need a practical solution for this problem. It will take time to solve this problem so our ministry secretary discussed the issue with the Treasury Secretary and got the approval for the interim allowance. The main achievement here is the Treasury agreeing to pay the allowance. There are provisions and funds necessary for the purpose and we are working with the Treasury on the mechanism of this process. It is a step-by-step process. The process has started because the agreement to pay the allowance and finding funds were the initial steps that we have already completed. The teachers will get this allowance soon and we would be able to state an exact date in the near future.”
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)