Market forces toll the knell to affordable education

Speech by Headmaster of S. Thomas’ Prep School at prize giving

“Christian values and market values do not mix and are wholly incompatible, but the issue of attracting competent teachers to man our staff is a vexed question,” said N.Y. Casiechetty, Headmaster of S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, Kollupitiya.

Delivering the report for 2010 at the school’s prize day on July 15, Mr. Casiechetty spoke about the reality confronting Church schools in attracting and securing the services of competent, able and committed individuals on to the tutorial staff.

“With the creation of a ‘market culture’ in our society, the dominance of ‘market forces’ in our economy and the restraint of ‘materialism of the market,’ is the stark reality confronting the Christian MissionarySchool, in that we find ourselves no longer in a position to attract and absorb on to our cadre the best teaching material,” the headmaster said.

“As far as the continuance of our Church schools is concerned, the recruitment of staff has taken a severe battering at the hands of market considerations.

“Competent, qualified and able individuals are choosing not to seek employment avenues in our schools due to the pitifully meagre and unattractive financial remuneration on offer.”

Mr. Casiechetty added the mushrooming of international schools had only exacerbated the problem as those with ability who wish to take to the teaching profession as a career, are lured by the financial rewards readily offered by these institutions.

“This would run counter to the very ethos of our Church schools which were originally established with the objective of providing an affordable holistic education to youth. Making education exorbitant and prohibitively expensive would surely sound the death knell of our Church schools, and we would have forfeited our Christian mission and values thereby losing the moral argument for our continuance.”
He said any attempt to enhance the fees levied, to be on par with International Schools, would at a stroke deny a large segment of the population, especially those within the Christian Church, an affordable means of education for their children.

Mr. Casiechetty commended the student’s discipline, their vibrancy, vitality and their eagerness coupled with youthful exuberance that contributed to the impressive record of achievement of the school.
Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey, the Bishop of Colombo was the Chief Guest. Mrs. Harshini Canagasabey distributed the awards.

Order of the Rising Sun

Former World President of the Junior Chamber International and former Provincial Councillor Isfahani Sameen was conferred on Friday the 'Order of the Rising Sun' by Japanese Amabassador Kumio Takahashi on behalf of the Government of Japan, in recognition of his invaluable services in promoting bilateral relations between Japan and other countries. Pic by Saman Kariyawasam

Unveiling of H.L’s bust

Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake will unveil the bust of late Silva, PC at the Colombo Law Library at Hulftsdrop on July 27, Wednesday at 3 p.m.

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