Apr 24, Colombo: University students’ unions in Sri Lanka have called on parents and students to voice their protest against the government’s move to introduce a compulsory ‘leadership training programme’ under the military.
The programme is to be applied to all new entrants to the universities from this year.
The Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) says there were doubts over the government’s move, as military leadership skills could not be applied to civil society and has called on parents and students to protest against the move.
Speaking to ColomboPage IUSF Convener, Sanjeewa Bandara said that under the new move, students before entering the university would enter a military camp.
Bandara’s comments follow a statement made by Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayaratne that students who qualify for university education would have to undergo leadership training at a military establishment.
Dr. Jayaratne has been quoted in the media as saying that the new scheme would come into effect from May 23 for the next academic year and it would be compulsory for all students.
The training programme is to be conducted by the military under the supervision of university authorities.
Sri Lankan university students who receive free education at the expense of taxpayer’s money lack the necessary leadership skills and community involvement.
However, Bandara says the decision to send university students for leadership and disciplinary training is all part of the government’s move to apply military rules to most civilian aspects.
He charged that the government could not take such arbitrary decisions without consulting parents and students.