Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa claims foreign funded Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) have influenced Sri Lanka’s education system in subtle ways.
Speaking at the National Dhamma School Convention and Awards Ceremony held at Irattaperiyakulam in Vavuniya today, the Prime Minister said that parents must be very vigilant with regard to what is being put into the minds of school children.
“I heard some leading academic bhikkus explaining how school textbooks now have content that will have the effect of corrupting young minds. A lay organisation explained how some school text books have depicted the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka as one province. It was also said that the Sinhala New Year has been dropped from some school textbooks,” he said.
The Prime Minister claimed that that there is a concerted and ongoing attempt to divide the country, to destroy the Sinhala Buddhists, to disrupt the family as an institution among the Sinhala, Tamil, Chritian and Hindu sections of the population and to create divisions between children and their parents, between students and their teachers, between children and religions.
He said that programmes aimed at achieving these objectives begin at the level of primary schools and after a few years, the way of thinking of the Sinhala population would have changed without anyone even realising it.
“An expeditious investigation will be carried out into the ideas being put into the minds of school children through school text books,” he said.
He also said that the new Government will put in place a programme to attract more children and youth to Dhamma Schools under the guidance of the MahaSangha.
“What should happen is that children and youth should be motivated to go in search of the temple and our national heritage. I believe that in order to achieve that objective, our approach also has to change with the times. A programme should be put in place to show appreciation for the voluntary work done by Dhamma school teachers. The Dhamma schools depend on their dedication. A special programme will have to be put in place to maintain the Dhamma Schools located in remote areas,” the Prime Minister said. (Colombo Gazette)