Citizens' Mail | Daily News

Citizens' Mail

The oldest un-recognized in-service?

In-Service Teacher Advisors (ISA) Union has launched a union action again since the establishment of their service has long been unresponsive for no reason while the union fulfilled almost all the essential requirements regarding the implementation of their service. Among the requisites they have already met are the Cabinet approval obtained on April 28, 2007, the recommendation given by National Pay Commission, the approval given by the Dept. of Management Service, the Bill of the Constitution of the Advisory Service and the Financial allocation from the Treasury on January 1, 2018. In spite of all such requirements fulfilled on their part, again the authority concerned falls through to finalize the matter.

Owing to this prolonging crisis all in-service advisors adheres work-to-rule action island-wide until their service is established. They refrain from most essential multiple duties including curriculum development, co-curricular activities, team supervision, various teacher training programmes conducted at all levels, preparing of papers of all the subjects, diverse competitions including sports, primary, English, science mathematics, Information technology in the school except support teaching. This would definitely hamper the learning-teaching situation and co-curricular activities in the schools. Though the necessity of the service of the In-Service Advisors are greatly felt and understood by all in the system today the recent obstacles for giving them a permanent service seems to be unthinkable.

In-Service Teacher Advisors are recruited from grade 1 and 2 teacher service personnel with more than five-year experience and a viva. Even for the recruitment of services for SLEAS and Principals such experience is not counted.

Though the particular province holds responsibility regarding the recruitment, the provincial body alone cannot implement a service for them. Therefore ISA’s nature of appointment remains only as a secondment in their attachment to the respective Zonal Education Office. Thus their service is not solid and they are bound to schools they served early for their salary, submitting leave particulars, any such claims and service requirements. Obviously, there is no security in their promotion since they are nobody’s child and function in their new duty with no permanent workplace. They have served in this manner for more than 53 years.

They only demand their service to be implemented but not any privileges, or any bonus, or pay hike since they experience many hardships due to non-settlement of their service. They are very much hopeful that the government would definitely look into their grievances this time for the sake of sound education service in the country.

Galagamage

Dayananda de Silva

Wathugedara


Resolving the foreign debt trap

My attention was drawn to an unanswered issue in the press on the captioned subject which inter-alia revealed the following data to explain what a foreign debt trap is.

1) Foreign debt US $ 53 bln. – 77% of GDP

2) Foreign reserves - US$ 7 bln.

3) Annual Debt repayment - over US$ 5 bln.

4) Trade deficit - US$ 10 bln.

5) Borrowing to repay debt, increases debt resulting in a foreign debt trap.

We know that our annual debt repayment reached astronomical proportions after 2015, mainly due to the expiry of the grace periods and the beginning of the repayment periods of many of the foreign loans which were either short term or medium term obtained under commercial terms to avoid harsh ancillary conditions imposed by traditional long term foreign lending agencies like the World Bank and Asian Bank et al.

It is also admitted that the infrastructure projects (though some were of national importance), didn’t generate the desired return on the massive loan investments to facilitate loan servicing.

In this difficult scenario, we appeal to the monetary authorities to avoid the debt trap and willful default by making fervent and cogent requests to the big foreign lenders to restructure our loans by allowing longer repayment periods with concessionary interest rates.

Even if it affects our international ratings, such redress will reduce the burden of our critical annual foreign debt repayment and give us sufficient breathing space to come out of the vicious debt trap by improving our exports, rationalizing imports and reducing the trade deficit. Perhaps, we can obtain assistance from UN lending agencies to underwrite the relevant loan restructuring packages.

I am confident that our good relationship with China and other big lenders coupled with the negotiating skills of our political and concerned subject officers would bring in favourable results.

Bernard Fernando

Moratuwa


Appeal for both leaders to go for an amicable dialogue!

I pleasurably appreciate the Pakistani Premier Imran Khan for his friendly and wise gesture of releasing the captivated Indian wing commander Abinanthan. Pakistan’s remarkable gesture of tranquillizing tension in the region by releasing the captured pilot and the reconciling measures adopted by Pakistan was greatly welcome and appreciative.

India and Pakistan are our friendly and neighbouring countries which tremendously helped Sri Lanka in the past and helping even now.

We as a grateful nation cannot forget what Pakistan did to us during the time of the war. Pakistan provided us military support and trained our pilots bombing the LTTE strongholds in the North and the East. As a move of vengeance by the LTTE the then Pakistan High Commissioner was targeted and he was narrowly escaped death is also gratefully remembered. India too maintained a low profile and gave silent support to end the war in 2009 due to political reasons.

As a gesture of goodwill for both countries, we yearningly appeal for the two leaders to be calmer and restrain themselves in solving the current tense situation by going for an amicable dialogue.

Z. A. M. Shukoor

Aranayaka


 

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