Wimal strikes independent line
National Freedom Front leader and Construction and Housing Minister, Wimal Weerawansa has expressed his party’s reservations over the proposed private university bill.
In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Weerawansa has said that the NFF would consider taking a stand against it if the ruling alliance government tries to push forward the private universities bill through Parliament without allowing room for public discussion of the content of the bill.
“The government had suffered heavily and lost in each recent case where it tried to rush through bills through parliament, without giving consideration to public opinion and thereby drew lot of flak. For example on two occasions, the Private Sector Pensions Fund and the take over of Under-utilised Assets and Underper-forming Ventures, the government created lot of public displeasure,” he said.
“The proposed private university bill should be discussed among the member parties of the UPFA before it is presented to the Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament, Minister Weerawansa has told the President. “The NFF believes that free education rights of people must be ensured and does not agree with privatizing of university education,” the letter adds.
Courtesy: The Island
Tertiary Education is not being privatised, as NFF leader wrongly perceives. The current SL Universities will continue to provide FREE tertiary education to the nation.
The proposed Bill is to introduce Private Universities as well, for the children of those parents who can afford to give their children private education. Currently rich parents send their children abroad for tertiary education. This is a drain on valuable foreign exchange. By having private universities in tandem with State Universities which will continue to be free, foreign exchange will be conserved in SL for other enterprises. Besides, Private Universities will be a Foreign Exchange earner by offering a quota of places in these universities to foreign students. Moreover, MORE places will be available in FREE SL Universities for successful SL students. The competition will therefore be less.
I cannot understand why NFF and some people fail to see the advantages, and try to make a big issue out of it. Afterall, we have Independent Schools already in SL which offer primary and secondary education to children of parents, who can afford such education. The education in Independent Schools are based on curriculae of Britain or USA. Children of Foreign Missions and Foreign Professionals working in SL, receive their primary and secondary education in Independent Schools also, which have to maintain exacting Quality Control Standards according to requirements of Education Authorities in SL, Britain and USA.
NFF should be focused in supporting the Hon Minister of Higher Education, in introducing Private Universities in SL ALSO, as in India, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Japan. These ventures are valuable Foreign Exchange earners, income generators, for the country. NFF should also support the Bill for criminalising ‘ragging’ in Universities, which are not found in foreign universities.
upavaase kala wageda?