TUs not attempting to sabotage A/L answer script evaluation: Unionist
By Rathindra Kuruwita
Teachers’ trade unions had not asked their members to boycott the evaluation of GCE A/L answer scripts, Mahinda Jayasinghe, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher Service Union (CTSU) said yesterday..
Earlier minister of education Susil Premajayantha said there was a shortage of 4,000 teachers and 1,300 university academics to evaluate A/L answer scripts.
“We have not asked teachers to not apply for paper marking directly or indirectly. The delays have been caused by the government’s actions and realising that there would be a shortage of teachers for paper marking, we repeatedly asked the Education Ministry to take steps to enlist more teachers for paper marking,” he said.
Jayasinghe said most teachers had decided not to apply for paper marking due to economic reasons as well as previous government actions.
“Currently, a teacher is paid Rs. 900 rupees a day for paper marking. This is not enough. People have to travel, spend on food.
Moreover, during the previous paper marking session, the government penalised teachers on various pretexts and many of them lost about Rs 12,000 each. Teachers were demoralised. Given the current economic conditions, teachers should be paid at least Rs 2,000 a day for paper marking,” he said.
Jayasinghe added that they held a meeting with the Minister of Education on 08 March and the Minister had promised to increase the payment to Rs 2,000. During the meeting the unions demonstrated how the Ministry could reduce wasteful expenditure and easily increase payment for paper marking, Jayasinghe said.
“We can’t ask teachers to apply for paper marking because they will ask how they will cover the costs of transport and food. The GCE A/L examination concluded on 17 February and paper marking was scheduled to commence on 22 February, but it was postponed indefinitely due to the shortage of teachers and university academics.
Education Ministry Secretary M. Nihal Ranasinghe said the daily payment for evaluating 2022 GCE A/L examination scripts had been increased to Rs 2,000 and the Ministry would inform the teachers’ unions of its decision.