(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The Government has moved to respond to campaigning by teacher unions with measures to ensure that public sector teachers are placed on better salary scales by annulling previous government circulars that effectively reduced their salary structure, a union leader disclosed yesterday.
Education Minister Dullas Alahapperuma is expected to submit a memorandum at today’s Cabinet meeting to provide for a better salary structure for government school teachers, Sri Lanka Podujana Education Services Association chairperson Wasantha Hadapangoda said. She told a press conference at the SLPP headquarters in Battaramulla yesterday that an improved salary was needed for teachers to live with some dignity. Handapangoda said that teachers and the principals of government schools faced difficulty as successive governments had failed to rectify the salary anomalies.
She said teachers were placed on a higher salary scale by establishing the Teacher Service Minute by then Education Minister Dr.Richard Pathirana. “The governments that came into power from time to time after 1994 introduced several circulars degrading the status of government teachers,”she said.
She said that her Association had a discussion with former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa over the salary anomalies of teachers and principals. “Former Minister Rajapaksa assured that measures would be taken to rectify the salary anomalies of teachers and principals,” he said.
She said the Government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has succeeded in taking many vital decisions for the upliftment of the education sector based on the requests made by her association.
“The Government has taken a policy decision to establish all teachers in government schools as degree holders.
The government has also focused on appointing teacher assistants to primary grade classes.