Written by Staff Writer
30 Dec, 2016 | 9:57 pm
In November 2015 the government decided to change the mechanism to provide School Uniform Materials to students and introduced a new voucher system. This decision was taken following various irregularities that were detected in the tender process as well as the distribution process.
The Minister of Education stated at the time that the government will be able to save around Rs. 500 million through this process and that it will be used to improve education in the country. With time, several anomalies surrounding the new voucher system came to light. The main allegation was that sub-standard material that was imported by an Indian company in 2015 was sold to students through the Lanka Salu Sala via the new voucher system.
News 1st’s Action TV highlighted on several occasions, how letters sent by the secretary to the ministry of education has paved the way for Lanka Salu Sala to sell school uniform material to students at a competitive rate.
There were later conflicting paper articles that reported that the secretary to the ministry of education has asked the president to launch an investigation into the matter as this could pave the way for more corruption in the country.
General Secretary of the All Island Teachers Association Joseph Stalin commenting on this issue said:
” They have decided to provide the material through Salu Sala, but it closed down sometime back. That institution has only 19 employees working for it. The rest have been sent on retirement and they have been removed.What has happened through this is massive fraud. What is this joke? Where is the administration? The government spends a lot of money on the uniform material I think it exceeds 2.3 billion. That is a huge amount. They are acting without a proper administration mechanism. We see this as a crime. The result of all this will be that the students will be without schools uniform material. We know that some of these vouchers are still with the parents. Some undistributed vouchers are still in the schools. All of these vouchers will expire tomorrow. This is clearly a conspiracy of the government to collect money because if they give out the material they will loose the money.”
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