People have followed ideologies and their leaders but there has been no party that has been this disruptive & destructive of a country’s progress. While everyone has every right to choose their political ideology/principles etc, when a party infiltrates and influences the cream of the future, it is cause for concern. Just as we question these mischief makers, we are also pointing fingers at successive governments & the university system for not dealing with the issue for the betterment of the nation.
Why has our university education deteriorated over the years?
Why are our university students more interested in demonstrating & protesting?
What have they given back to the nation for the free education they have received?
How many of these protestors and mischief makers are employed as lecturers within the university system & underground fueling the chaos?
How much of this ideological influence has penetrated to university education ultimately dissolving the talents of the talented that enter?
How many non-JVP end up JVP because of no choice?
How many of them have destroyed their future taking a path that has led them nowhere?
The JVP is the richest political party in Sri Lanka – how a presumed Marxist party can become the richest political party collecting money from tin cans is everybody’s question, but it also clearly identifies JVP as the hired Man-Friday during elections. The funds suffice for political parties to use the JVP underground systems and people to do the campaign for the likely winning contender or likely opposition contender. All depends on the auction. There is little to argue against this notion as JVP role in helping every government that has come to power is clear in its own campaign slogans & statements of its leaders. However, people who earn their own living have every right to choose the political party & ideology they wish to follow.
The same yardstick, however cannot be applied to university students – 90% coming from rural homes and entering a new environment & habitat foreign from the humble lifestyles they led and the simple lives they lived. Enveloping these ignorant and innocent have been peanuts even to some lecturers whose characters are best left for another topic altogether.
In the face of these opportunists and influencers the life of a talented flower ends up going waste and the child ends up nothing that his/her parents aspired them to become. No parent overjoyed that their child has entered university wishes to see them picketing on the streets when there are many more things to demand within the university premises.
We know how many innocent students fell victim to ragging – the type of ragging taking place cannot be written. Hiring houses for ragging, physical and sexual humiliation are just some of the ghastly ordeals students have had to endure all in the name of ‘welcoming’ the new batches. Any student who wants to torture can get a transfer to the prison. Any student abusing the rights of another student should be dismissed. The university authorities must define and make clear what is ACCEPTABLE RAGGING and anyone indulging in any acts beyond this has to be immediately expelled or transferred to a Raggers University where the state can have these raggers have a go at each other and do no harm to innocent students! Obviously these miscreants know they will not get employment in any corporate sector and state sector may also find them taboo unless under influence they get a job – so what is their future likely to be – joining the JVP political wing? This circular curse cannot continue.
We do not need to tell the university apparatus how simple it is to catch the culprits who abuse & indulge in ragging and torture – it does not require gazettes or Parliamentary Bills. Why are the culprits not thrown out? Why are these culprits in university for years holding positions and not passing out? Throwing out the mischief makers no sooner they are found guilty of malpractice is the easiest way to drain the swamp and the university can easily create the conducive environment for studies enabling the students to find their talents & infuse a mentality of not learning to demand only. The JVP infiltration in the university has created a bunch of university pass-outs who think jobs have to be offered no sooner they pass, pensionable salaries must be given and the state has to continue to molly-cuddle them. This mentality has to change and the university system is tasked not just to lecture but to create students who are keen to apply what they learn to raising the nation and in turn raising themselves. It is when a student is able to showcase his/her ability, that people become aware of his/her talents and necessary funding or assistance is given. Simply shouting on street corners and demanding only, is not going to get them anywhere.
Having come from rural homes, these students must realize that it is the scoring system that has enabled them to get an edge over other students from urban areas who not only sat the same exam but scored higher than them. While these high mark scorers are not able to enter universities, low scoring students from rural areas are given the chance to enter. They should not spoil this chance. It is also noteworthy that these students may lack the finesse that is generally accepted for work environments, however there are plenty of corporate, state and even voluntary assistance to help these students with soft skills. More are likely to come forward if the university system get rid of the JVP and its branches operating inside the universities ruining the lives of tomorrow’s future generations. With JVP forced out and the universities given room to bring out the talents of students, more people are likely to come forward to assist these students for they know that the soft skill services offered by them will not go in vain and end up as a street protest.
So the biggest question is why are every government not taking the bull by the horns?
Why are they approaching this issue in a knee-jerk attitude?
Firstly, the government must realize that the assets of the nation are the children and its young adults. No nation wants to see a bunch of ruffians brainwashed to picket. We cannot watch until the JVP finds space even inside schools. Therefore, the government must come up with a national plan which doesn’t gather dust after elections and lies at the bottom of the files of the Education Minister and the University big wigs. Is it that none of them are interested to resolve this problem or do they wish it to continue? Do they not want to see our talented youth go far. We are yet to have a R&D se up in Sri Lanka brought to the level of foreign universities that can present annual papers for different issues prevailing in Sri Lanka. There is so much that the universities and the students can do and there are enough and more talented youth able to do – the problem is a bunch of rascals are not allowing them to.
What ails the universities in Sri Lanka? we all know the answer
Is the problem unsolvable? No
Why is it not being solved? Who knows?
Should it be solved? Of course
When will it be solved? Anyone’s guess
But the clock is ticking and we should not idle any longer, unless we want to see a bunch of rioters everyday extending even to schools!
Shenali D Waduge