Sri Lanka student union calls for raise in Mahapola scholarship for university students

Oct 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s student union the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) says the Mahapola scholarship offered to the university students had not been revised in five years.

IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara said that given the increase in the cost of living, the Mahapola scholarship should have been increased.

He says that the amount paid to students should at least be a minimum of Rs. 4,000 under the current circumstances.

According to Bandara, the IUSF is to commence a series of agitation campaigns to get the monies allocated through the Mahapola scholarship increased.

Bandara also said the Appropriation Bill for 2012 presented to parliament last week has indicated a slashing of the budgetary allocations to the education sector.

He said that the current administration has continuously slashed allocations to the education sector, which has put the future of free education in the country at risk.

He explained that while 3 percent of the 2011 budget was allocated to the education sector, it has been reduced to 2.6 percent in 2012.

“While 2 percent was allocated to the Higher Education Ministry in 2011, it has been reduced to 1.9 percent in 2012,” he added.

Bandara charged that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government has not worked for the upliftment of the country’s education sector, but has slashed the funds allocated for the education sector by 50 percent between 2005 and 2010.

Sri Lanka provides free education from kindergarten through the universities.

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