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IUSF to engage school students, parents

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Education crisis

The Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) plans an awareness campaign among school students and their parents regarding what it claims is a concerted effort to privatize the country’s education system.

IUSF Convener Najith Indika claimed the awareness campaign will be initiated in a few weeks as part of a wide-ranging program by university students to get their message across to the general public, after their protest demonstration in Colombo last week was tear-gassed and dispersed by the police.

 “We have put forward a set of 14 demands for the authorities to consider. However, we are yet to get a response, let alone an invitation for discussions”.

He alleged despite a change in government, schools continued to charge money from the parents of students for various matters. “Under the Rajapaksa regime, the issue was that it did not release funds for the upkeep of government schools. This policy has not changed under the Sirisena presidency either,” he further claimed.

When queried whether the IUSF was trying to ‘target’ school students for political activities, Indika said that was not the case.

“However, we do want engagement with school students and especially their parents because they will be directly affected by this. We are not the ones doing politics in schools at the moment. You see countless state functions taking place with the participation of school students. At such functions, most of what the ministers and MPs say is related to politics and very little is said on education. As such, to accuse us of trying to use students for political advantage is ridiculous. But we do have a right to engage with them because we’re talking about their future here,” he said.

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