Silence of higher learning institutions at crucial times a serious concern: Hakeem

Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Minister of City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem addressed the distinguished gathering at the inauguration of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine Academic Centre of the University of Colombo recently. 

Minister of City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem

Minister Hakeem speaking at the event remarked that this is an iconic institution producing well-rounded professionals of high ethical standards contributing with laudable feats in the field of medicine and academics in the country. The Institute carries remarkable accomplishments that are noteworthy. 

Academic functions such as conducting 135 exams a year for instance, is no easy task for any institute, he said. It is indeed an achievement to have increased 250 seats in medical faculties in the country, he remarked. A Medical Faculty has been established in the University of Sabaragamuwa few months ago and another new Medical Faculty is to be opened in Wayamba University soon, he said. 

Together with rising standards of excellence comes the added responsibility of postgraduate colleges and associations to be civic conscious as standard bearers. The country also looks up to these institutions for ethical guidance and directions.

While praising the medical academics and professors of the exemplary bodies of higher learning such as this, Minister Hakeem made sombre note of the disconcerting silence of the College of the Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on a recent crucial national issue that warranted their judgment calls. “It was a matter of serious concern,” he said. 

At a time when serious doubts and allegations about the profession itself reigned leading to damaging consequences, “the opportunity should have been used to put the country at ease against rabble rousers”. It won’t be long for such cases to be negatively captured in medical journals abroad bringing disrepute to our country over such case studies, he noted. 

The Colombo Medical Faculty has expanded to include 10 Maldivian students. Minister Hakeem also acknowledged the generous assistance of the Maldivian Government where MOUs are to be entered into, to expand the Faculties of the Universities of Peradeniya, Colombo and Moratuwa in the Maldives. An island in the Maldives is to be dedicated for this purpose, he said. 

The inaugural event took place under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena with the participation of high ranking officials of the relevant ministries and institutions including Secretaries of the Ministries D.M. Priyantha Mayadunne, Vasantha Perera, UGC Vice Chairman Prof. P.S.M. Gunaratne, Director General of Health Service Anil Jayasinghe, and PGIM Director Prof Janaka de Silva.