Published On: Mon, May 15th, 2017

As protests continue to mount SAITM told: ‘stop new intakes’

In light of the continuous protests against the South Asian Institution of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), the Government has requested the SAITM management to halt enrolling new students to the institution. The request was made by Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella through the respective ministry asking the SAITM management to halt student intake till several policy decisions taken by the Government on SAITM is implemented.

Such policy decisions include the listing of SAITM in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), appointing a monitoring body to overview SAITM in order to ensure the standards and quality of medical education, nationalizing the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) and to increase the number of scholarships offered by private medical colleges.

“It takes time to implement these policy decisions. We are hoping to complete the process of nationalizing the NFTH within two months. Until all other policy decisions are implemented we requested the SAITM management to halt enrolling new students.

“The government expects a positive response from the SAITM management to this request by the end of this week,” Minister Kiriella said in a statement. The request to halt enrolling students to SAITM till issues are resolved was welcomed by the SAITM Medical Faculty Parents’ Forum (SMFPA). Convener of the SMFPA, Gemunu Wijeratne told Ceylon Today the government needs to finalize the process of nationalizing the NFTH without much delay and appoint a monitoring body to overview SAITM.

Wijeratne also stressed on the need of conducting a final examination that is accepted by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and the University Grants Commission (UGC). “Our children are ready to face an examination conducted under the supervision of the SLMC and UGC. We are in the view that such an examination should take place under the supervision of the SLMC and UGC, so that our children’s qualifications are recognized,” added Wijeratne.

Meanwhile, Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) General Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soysa said, the government should order SAITM to stop enrolling students and awarding degrees.

“SAITM is a fraudulent institute. There is no need to make requests from them. The Government should exercise its authority and stop the recruitments,” Dr. Soysa insisted.

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