SAITM: Ravi wants govt. to act without giving in to protesters

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Academy of Health Professionals in Sri Lanka (AHPSL) yesterday urged the government to reveal its policy on the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).

President AHPSL Ravi Kumudesh said that if the government was planning to make Sri Lanka an education hub, then it had to do its part by articulating its policy on SAITM. "It cannot wait for the issue to be resolved by student unions and trade unions on the streets."

A majority of student unions participating in these agitations were not even medical undergraduates, but those following arts degree courses. They clearly represented the views of leftist political parties. However, those parties themselves had not stated their opinions on the involvement of the private sector in education. The government should not give in to such small groups, Kumudesh said.

Kumudesh observed that the government had continued with a policy decision taken during the Rajapaksa regime. He accused the President and the government of attempting to show that those groups agitating against the SAITM had a chance of winning the ongoing battle against it.

The AHPSL President said that it was the duty of the Ministry of Higher Education and the Sri Lanka Medical Council to ensure that SAITM maintained the required standard and quality. The government should prescribed required standards for medical education.

Kumudesh said that if the government was to resolve the SAITM issue it should commission a survey to gauge public opinion without believing that the entire country was against SAITM because some groups staged street protests.

The private sector contributed a great deal to education and it was the governments duty to set the standards and regulate it. Kumudesh said.

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