An all inclusive advisory committee on religious integration has been set up in the Central Province (CP) to ensure more student participation in Dhamma Schools, said Provincial Governor Niluka Ekanayake.

Any future action will be taken by way of this committee which will be proposed to the Provincial Council (PC) as a declaration. The committee was of the view that Dhamma School education in the CP needs to be improved and changes should be made to the learning environment.

The move comes in the wake of the controversy that private tuition classes on Sunday’s was affecting attendance at Dhamma schools.

Discussions regarding the procedure were positively received by both the general public and the tuition teachers of the CP.

She said the implementation of the action plan would be through mutual understanding, as was suggested by the President. Hence, the extensive discussions with the membership of the Professional Lecturers Association (PLA) which is the collective for tuition teachers in the CP.

PLA President, Attorney-atLaw Wasantha Yapa Bandara said that, following the meeting, it was decided that only classes for Grades 1 to 9 will be barred. The restriction will remain only up till 1 pm on Sundays, following which tuition classes may proceed as required.

Mr Bandara said this decision was based on the fact that a majority of the students sitting O/L and A/L exams, do not attend Dhamma School. Hence, cancelling their tuition would not be advisable.

He said the PLA made suggestions for the improvement of Dhamma School Education in the CP, as it is not up to standard. “There is a lack of space, qualified teaching staff and other necessities which discourage students from attending, which the PLA would be willing to assist in funding such improvements,” he said.

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