ECONOMYNEXT – The northern and eastern provinces saw the highest attendance by students, teachers and principals when schools reopened for the first time in six months, the education minister said on Friday Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament (22).
Grades 1-5 classes resumed in 5,059 schools with fewer than 200 students on Thursday (21) amid an ongoing strike by teachers’ unions that is finally set to end next Monday (25).
Minister Gunawardena said the government was able to open around 98 percent of the targeted schools.
“Sixteen percent of students have attended schools across the country, while 26 percent of teachers have signed up,” Minister Gunawardena told parliament.
School principals showed up to work in 69% of schools with less than 200 students in the north of the island, while 52% of teachers and 21% of students were present on Thursday, he said. .
In the Eastern Province, 67 percent of principals, 45 percent of teachers and 39 percent of students returned to school on Thursday, he added.
In contrast, schools in the southern and western provinces recorded lower attendance levels from principals, teachers and students, the minister said.
“We believe that everyone will support the reopening of schools regardless of party or color,” Minister Gunawardena said.
The unions do not fully support the government’s proposed solution to their longstanding grievance over pay anomalies.
The three-month strike, one of the longest union campaigns in Sri Lanka’s history, deprived students of their only mode of distance learning during a pandemic: online education.
It is still unclear whether all principals will be heading to work on Monday, as some school principals unions have said some of their demands, including car licenses and a cell phone allowance, have failed. still been processed.
Teachers and principals in Sri Lanka were on strike for the 99th day in a row on October 15 when they announced they would start work from October 25.
The government proposed to increase their wages in a four-year strategy, but after rejecting that proposal, the government later proposed to grant the increases in two installments. The unions also rejected him and continued the strike, demanding that their wages be increased in one fell swoop.