Leader of the House, Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena said that a new national education policy that the country needed is being formulated. He was speaking at the Consultative Committee on Education held in Parliament recently (Sep 10). The need to formulate a proper system to fill the vacancies of principals in schools was also discussed at this meeting.

While claiming that resolving the current teacher salary anomaly is a serious problem, State Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the process of locating teachers should also be streamlined. The State Minister also stated that a program is underway to transform the teacher training National Colleges of Education into Universities.

Addressing the committee through online technology, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the official languages are in a state of decline. He also drew the attention of the Committee to the fact that English is becoming the language of education in the country at present.
It was revealed at the Consultative Committee on Education that the report of the technical committee for the inclusion of law in Sri Lanka as a subject in the school syllabus will be submitted to the relevant subcommittee within two weeks. It was also suggested that law should be included not as a separate subject but as part of the subject of Civic education. Member of Parliament Dr. (Ms) Harini Amarasuriya, said that it is very important to include children’s rights in this as well. She pointed out that the relationship between law and society should also be reflected in it.

It was also discussed at this Committee that a proper program should be implemented to make permanent the graduate trainees attached to the schools. MPs brought to the notice of the committee that out of 60,000 graduates, 18,000 are currently attached to schools and the methodology proposed to make permanent them is problematic. State Minister Jayantha Samaraweera stated that some of the graduates who are currently attached to schools do not like this methodology. MP Chandima Weerakkody pointed out the need to implement a proper program to protect the dignity of teachers.

Further discussions were held at the Committee on the School Selection Program for the project to establish 1000 National Schools. The Committee Chairman informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Prof. Kapila Perera to take measures and explain
the matter to the Committee. State Minister Sitha Arambepola, Members of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Education, Parliamentarians Anupa Pasqual, Yadamini Gunawardena and Premanath C. Dolawatta were also present at the Committee Meeting. Meanwhile Minister Douglas Devananda, State Ministers Vijitha Berugoda and Piyal Nishantha as well as Parliamentarians Upul Mahendra Rajapaksa and Gevidu Kumaratunga joined the Committee via online technology. Officials of the Ministry of Education and related institutions also participated in this committee meeting through online technology.

This Committee which met six months later is the first Ministerial Consultative Committee Meeting of the Ministry of Education held after the appointment of the Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena as the Minister of Education.