Students of Agricultural College, Vavuniya in a statement has explained the shortage of staff needed to pursue the programme and bring it to successful completion and requested the President to take speedy action regarding this matter.
We publish the full statement below:
We are concerned about the Lectures being not held regularly, due to the shortage of Lectures prevailing at the Sri Lanka Agricultural College at Vavuniya. We have been confronted with enormous crises in continuing our learning because of this. We are highly dissatisfied about being forced to pass out as students who have not received a complete training, as this situation is continuing all along the past decade.
Our Agricultural College is operating under the direct monitoring of the Agricultural Department at Peradeniya.
All though, the government had under taken several development activities and implemented several projects to improve the Agricultural sector of Sri Lanka and great importance being given to Agricultural, we, who are continuing to study Agricultural through Tamil medium feel that we are being excluded badly .
Thus, we are being greatly affected continuously by the lethargy shown in allocating Lecturers to our college.
There are only 4 Lecturers available to teach around 20 courses to the 1st and 2nd year students. An uncomfortable situation where a Lecturer is compelled to teach more hours than the normally allocated hours is prevailing here, unseen anywhere else in Sri Lanka. No course studies could be completed in completeness within the stipulated period, because of this. This is the situation that is prevailing in the past decade.
Although it is known that, adequate lecturers are found in all four of the Agricultural Colleges which are teaching through Sinhala medium, they are upholding a lethargic trend in allocating Lecturers to the Agricultural College in Vavuniya, which has exclusively, students learning through Tamil medium. Suspicions are running strong among the students, that there may be political reasons behind this.
When Applications are called for appointment as Lecturers, they are being called on a contract basis. It had become a continuous story that the recruited Lecturers leaving after securing other lucrative permanent employments. In this context we are undergoing following problems when the courses conducted by the said lecturers appointed on a contract basis are handed over to other lecturers:
* Inability to complete the practicals conducted by lecturers, who come in under contract scheme and leave.
* Being afflicted by mental distresses by the change of Lecturers.
* Inability to complete the course in due time
* Inability to obtain field training
* Complexities regarding continuous evaluation examinations.
To the best of our knowledge, in past year, 2 of the lecturers who came under contract basis earlier, had left in the middle of the course, securing permanent appointments. Time tables were given to us anticipating the arrival of 8 contract basis lecturers. But only 05 came in, and out of them 2 had left after securing permanent employment leaving only 3 Lecturers.
Some Lectures are conducted by visiting lecturers, but even in this situation, we are unable to get complete field training and are unable expect regular and proper lectures. As the lectures of the visiting lecturers are conducted during week-ends and holidays, we are attending the lectures with much frustration, without being able to enjoy any free time, and confronted with bitter experiences.
Further the students who follow the first year in Tamil medium had to follow the 2nd year in English medium, as per the National Occupational Qualification Project – level -6. The predicament of these students is aggravated, by the problems like, shortage of Lecturers and the lectures being not conducted. More than that, as the mid – year examinations are being conducted now, we have to complete the syllabus, obtain the practical and field trainings within the said 6 months period. Hence we have reached a “point of no return” due to the problems related to shortage of lecturers. In a conjuncture like this facing the mid-year examinations is a big challenge. We are confronted with enormous crises in taking forward the National Occupational Qualification Projects.
Leaving aside these matters the students who passed through Tamil Medium from Vavuniya and Kundasale, will be appointed as Agricultural Instructors in the Tamil speaking areas North and East. We wish to point out that this situation where, these students are made to pass-out without complete Field Training will create serious setbacks in the future agricultural efforts in North and East.
We request that, related officials should take speedy action regarding this matter and we expect that, the President Maithripala Sirisena who studied at the Agricultural College and got elevated to the high position of the President will act with much concern regarding this matter. We intend to inform this matter officially, to the Hon. President.