Special focus was directed towards salary anomalies and demands of teachers and principals in Parliament today.
Matale District Parliamentarian Rohini Kumari Wijerathna raised a question expecting oral answers, regarding the attention drawn towards the matter by the government.
MP Wijerathna claimed teachers were engaged in online education voluntarily without support from the government.
She added however the government failed to acknowledge their service, and instead spoke to bring teachers to disrepute over demanding higher salaries.
The MP stressed that teachers are demanding the salary that they deserve. MP Wijerathna said if the issue is dragged on, it will affect the children’s future.
She questioned if there is a possibility to issue a circular, stating salary anomalies will be resolved and the teacher service will be made a closed service on a specific date, after the 2022 Budget is presented.
In response, State Minister of Education Reforms, Open Universities and Distance Learning Promotion Susil Premajayantha said the Cabinet of Ministers proposed to provide an interim allowance to encourage teachers, until the 2022 Budget proposal is presented.
The State Minister added the Secretary to the Ministry of Education must coordinate with regional officials to provide the allowance and further information.
State Minister Premajayantha claimed he proposed to the former Education Minister that if Rs. 1.2 billion can be allocated for four months, the government will have Rs. 5 billion to resolve the issue.
He said additionally by reducing the Capital expenditure from next year’s budget and allocating Rs. 7 billion, the government will be able to fund to resolve the salary anomalies issue of 25 percent of teachers and principals.
The State Minister added however that he is working within certain limitations, stating that several issues could’ve been resolved if the proposal was implemented.
State Minister Premajayantha noted they believe more funds will be allocated through the 2022 Budget.