|No training, no laptop
By Dinidu de Alwis
The government would not be selling computers to
university entrants who do not take part in the
“leadership training” programme, Secretary to the
Ministry of Higher Education Dr. Sunil Jayantha
Speaking to The Nation, Nawaratne said that the
computers are not to be given free, as told before,
but would be given on “either cash basis, or six or
twelve-month easy payment schemes,” and added that
those who cannot afford to pay for it can complete
the payment upon graduation.
Nawaratne added that the computers are to be
subsidised by the government. “We are selling a
computer which is worth around Rs.100,000 in the
market, at around Rs.71,000,” Nawaratne said.
However he had earlier said that the training was
not compulsory and students would still be given
university entrance, but students who have not
completed the training will not be given
complementary laptops and a dongles.
A letter sent under the signature of Nawaratne to
students who underwent training in the first batch
stated that it was mandatory that the students
report to their respective training centres. It also
stated that every student would be awarded a
certificate at the completion of the training
programme, and the certificate is a document which
confirms that the student has completed the training
required to enter the university.
The government later remained non-committal on
students who do not participate in the training
programme, but said a “special” programme will be
arranged to ensure maximum participation.