Teachers urge action on Tamil text books

Place: Sri Lanka | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 20000119

The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) has requested the Minister of Education and Higher Education to take stern disciplinary action against the Department of Educational Publications for failing to print and distribute text books to Tamil medium schools in the northern province in time.

Mr T. Mahasivam, General Secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union, has asked the Minister to provide an assurance that textbooks to Tamil medium students would be distributed without further delay.

The letter, sent to the Minister of education and Higher Education by the CTTU today, says that, to date, not a single textbook has been supplied to Tamil medium students in the education zones of Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya north.

"We fear that the free textbook distribution will not be completed before the end of January unless some drastic steps are taken against the irresponsible officials attached to the Department of Educational Publications," said Mr T. Mahasivam in his letter.


CTTU protests poor standard Tamil Texts

[TamilNet, January 22, 2000 16:49 GMT]

The All Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) has demanded the resignations of the Chairman of the National Institute of Education and the Director General of the Department of Educational Publications for having failed to prepare and print high standard Tamil medium school textbooks without grammatical, spelling and factual errors.

The General Secretary of the CTTU, Mr.T.Mahasivam, has in a memorandum to President Ms Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge requested her to take stern disciplinary actions against Professor Lakshman Jayatilake, Chairman of the National Institute of Education and Mr.E.W.Abeyanaike, Director General of the Department of Educational Publications for destroying the education of Tamil medium students by distributing poor standard textbooks, ignoring instructions issued last year.

Mr.Mahasivam has brought to the notice of the President that last year also Tamil medium textbooks were printed and distributed with large number of grammatical, spelling and factual errors. When this was pointed out to the authorities, the President and the Minister of Education and Higher Education issued instructions to reconstitute the School Textbook Committee, Advisory Committee and the Writers Committee by providing equal representations to all three communities.

Mr. Mahasivam noted further that the Minister of Education and Higher Education and his deputy ordered the officials concerned to obtain the services of the CTTU , before printing Tamil medium textbooks.The Minister of Education and Higher Education and the Department of Educational Publications too accepted the advice given by the World Bank to obtain the co-operation of the CTTU in this regard. The Chairman of the NIE and the Director General of the DEP, this year, willfully ignored these instructions and advice and have prepared and printed poor standard Tamil medium textbooks according to their whims and fancies thus destroying the education of the Tamil medium students in the country.

"Hence we beg your Excellency to take immediate steps to safeguard the education of Tamil medium students in the island by taking stern disciplinary action against these officials. We take this opportunity to bring to your notice that poor standard textbooks will not help to uplift the education," said Mr.Mahasivam in his memorandum.


CTTU urges withdrawal of Tamil text book

[TamilNet, February 11, 2000 04:55 GMT]

The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union(CTTU) Thursday requested the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to withdraw immediately a Grade-7 Tamil medium textbook -Social Studies and History- that was replete with language errors and distorted facts.

"This textbook would destroy the educational development of Tamil medium students if we allow the use of the book in our schools," said Mr.T.Mahasivam, Secretary of the CTTU in a letter to the Secretary of Ministry Of Education and Higher Education sent Thursday.

The letter further states:

"At least 15 grammatical, spelling and factual mistakes are found in each page of this book. Several articles in this 72 page-book are likely to hurt the feelings of Hindus.

27 pages of this book contain articles pertaining to Buddhist Sinhala culture and its history. Not even one percent of the space is given to other religions or races.

This book, prepared by the National Institute of Education, was published and distributed to schools free of charge by the Educational Publications Department. Not a single Tamil or a Muslim participated in the preparation of this book.

Several Sinhala words have been introduced in this Tamil book, giving an impression that authorities are keen in forcing Tamil students to learn Sinhalese language.

This Tamil textbook would certainly affect the development of Tamil language and also would force Tamil students to learn a distorted version of the history of their country.

I regret to inform you that our teachers will not use this book in schools as part of the curriculum. Therefore our union kindly requests you to ban this textbook from being used in Tamil medium schools.

Last year when participating at the All Ceylon Tamil Day celebrations as the chief guest, you openly apologized for having prepared and published Tamil textbooks with several mistakes and distorted facts in 1999. You further announced at that meeting that you would take responsibility to publish Tamil textbooks without such mistakes and distortions in 2000.

But I regret to inform you that Tamil textbooks published by your Ministry this year have more mistakes than those in the Tamil books published last year," states Mr.Mahasivam in his letter to Mr. Andrew de Silva, Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.