VIPs keep their children at home for second day

Joseph Stalin

Almost all children of parliamentarians and senior security officers had not been sent to school yesterday as well, Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said yesterday adding that the attendance of students in schools was low for the second consecutive day.

The turnout at leading Colombo schools was at less than 1%, he said. “From what we noted no MP or senior security forces officer sent their kids to school.

The attendance at the Defence Services School, 25, was less than on Monday, 32. This shows that those in the know are not confident about the security arrangements. If the government wants to convince the people that there is adequate security for schools, maybe they can set an example by sending their kids to school,” Stalin said.

Only 72 students showed up at Ananda College, which has over 6,000 students on its roll, while the number was 402 students at Royal College, which has over 8,000 students. Given below is the approximate turnout in other leading schools; Nalanda College – 26, Visakha – 50 , Anula – 72, Sirimavo – 63, Mahanama – 31, Isipathana – 87 Prince of Wales – 100, Devi Balika – 20, Gothamai Balika – 50.

The overall turnout was around 10% which was an indication that parents weren’t willing to accept government’s assurances of security, he said.

Meanwhile Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union (CTSU), General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the security arrangements for schools was unsystematic and uncoordinated.

“For example in Badulla, a relatively large school where students from all three ethnicities are studying had no protection at all. Meanwhile a school with 160 students, also in Badulla, had eight soldiers guarding it. What’s the logic? The government has pad very little attention to the security of rural schools and they have to convince parents that things are safe,” he said.

(Source: The Island – By Rathindra Kuruwita)