UNP against rolling back its programs

Saturday, 30 November 2019 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Calls on Govt. to keep Suraksha, tab program intact
  • Argues curtailing programs that benefit children will be negative   

The United National Party yesterday cautioned the new administration not to scrap key social security and education policies rolled out under the Yahapalanaya Government. 

UNP parliamentarian Wijepala Hettiarachchi, speaking at a press conference held in Sirikotha, argued against what he said were attempts to scrap the ‘Suraksha’ insurance scheme which covered schoolchildren, their parents, and teachers. “Some are saying it will be scrapped, some say it won’t be, there is confusion, but we caution the Government not to dismantle such policies that affect children and education,” he urged.  

However, Education Minister Dullas Alahapperuma in a press release yesterday denied the allegation, stating that the Cabinet had decided to continue with the insurance scheme with some adjustments needed for efficiency. Terming the policy a positive addition to protecting the student community, Alahapperuma stated that as Minister of Education, he will ensure the program is well-coordinated and delivers maximum benefit to the students.    

Hettiarachchi also charged that even though President Rajapaksa in his manifesto, and in the lead up to the polls, promoted the growth of the information technology sector, the Government is now scrapping the Education Department initiative to issue tabs to schoolchildren and teachers. 

“Yesterday they [the Government] announced that the tab program for schoolchildren and teachers has been stopped,” he stated, pointing out that the necessary groundwork had been done, and the project was to be launched in December or January, covering over 300 selected State schools under Phase One. 

Hettiarachchi called on the Government not to deny children access to the devices, pointing out that the order had been placed and the South Korean manufacturer is poised to produce the order. 

UNP Colombo District Organiser Priyantha Pathberiya charged that political victimisation in State institutions was on the rise, and urged those affected to lodge police complaints and take legal action.