According to the data recorded at the University Grants Commission (UGC), nearly 2,000 lecturers had left the country during the past one and a half years, 600 had left the country, and some had left the service during the past six months, President of the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) Prof. Barana Jayawardana said.

He said that there should be an availability of 11,900 lecturers in all universities in the country, but only 6,600 are available. Most of the lecturers have left the country and have not returned. Most of them have not informed their respective universities that they have left the service, he said.

“Only 30,000 new student enrollments have taken place at all universities in 2017. Later, it was increased to 34,000 in 2021, which was a 50 percent increase compared to 2017. Unfortunately, the number of new lecturer appointments have not increased since 2017,” Prof. Jayawardana said.

“However, several discussions were held with the Education Minister. During the discussion, the FUTA pointed out that the current tax imposed had directly affected the lecturers and doctors as well. Therefore, the lecturers and doctors have started leaving the country. Another discussion will be held with the Finance State Minister next week,” he said.

Moreover, he said last March the government had promised to grant some relief to lecturers, but still nothing has happened.

“Unfortunately, the government has stopped appointing new lectures due to the economic downfall. But it was reported that the President had informed the respective authorities to make new appointments to replace the number of lecturers who have left the country during the past six months.

“But the problem is that the lectures have to be selected from the existing batches. Most of them need foreign training. If they are given foreign training, it is doubtful if they will return to the country,” Prof. Jayawardana said.

FUTA News Sri Lanka