Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella charged that some trade unions in the education sector were engaged in scare mongering and were fishing in troubled waters.

He said the people should condemn attempts made by such trade unions to scuttle the move to re-open schools for those from Grade 6 to 13. He was speaking at the special media conference held online yesterday at the Government Information Department.

He said the decision taken by the Government to re-open schools islandwide apart from those in the Western Province and isolated areas, was to assist students to continue learning providing solutions for all the issues that have arisen due to the pandemic situation.

Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera said that according to Education Ministry statistics, 35% of the students and 85% of the teachers in the North Western Province had attended school on Monday (23).

Around 15% of the students and 80 percent of the teachers in the Southern Province, around 55% of the students and 86% of teachers in Sabaragamuwa Province had attended school.

When only 305 students from the North Central Province came to school, 80 percent of the teachers had attended school. Around 40 percent of students and 80 percent of teachers in the Central Province, 47 percent of students and 75 percent of teachers in the Northern Province and 28 percent of students and 80 percent of teachers in the Eastern Province, 30 percent of students and 80 percent of teachers in the Uva Province had attended school.

Accordingly, 96 percent was the highest and 80 percent was the lowest participation.

Following all the health guidelines that these schools commenced.We hope to rectify all the shortcomings and move forward Rs. 480 million was allocated by the government to 10,165 schools during the first wave to equip the schools with necessary healthcare facilities and this time the government has also allocated Rs. 105 million for 5,233 schools just to upgrade those facilities.


All healthcare facilities including sickrooms and hand washing equipment have already been installed in the schools.

“Our objective was to give equal rights to children who do not have access to the internet or television. Due to the Easter attacks, we only held schools for 90 days last year. This time the school has been held for only 80 days. Education has been provided online.We will work in a manner that does not cause injustice to scholarship, GCE Ordinary Level and Advanced Level students. If there is risk of creating a COVID cluster in the vicinity of a school or a village, the principal and parents can make immediate decisions. Therefore, at this juncture, I urge everyone to work together responsibly and dedicate themselves to the education of their children.” he added.

University Grant Commision Chairman Dr. Sampath Amaratunga said the university system is not closed and since the initial wave of the pandemic, the university system continued to provide online education. Therefore, we had been able to hold examinations by June and July.

“When the second wave came, we started online education again. We now carry out online education in all areas of the field of higher education. Online education was zero in our country. But now more and more students are turning to online education. 3.6 million children are accessing higher education online. By now, universities have delivered nearly 70,000 lectures online.Therefore, universities are not closed. Today we are on a successful journey by providing all internet facilities for free.” he said.

This time we have taken measures to make the highest of university admissions in the post independence Sri Lanka. Accordingly measures have been taken to recruit 41,500 students from today onwards.