JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, taking part in yesterday’s debate on the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (Special Provisions) bill, said that students who had ambitions of becoming doctors upon achieving their MBBS degree were cheated by Dr. Neville Fernando.
“These children have been cheated for years. He did not let them seek education elsewhere and kept them at SAITM, promising a MBBS degree. We demand the Government to submit the basic qualifications of students registered at SAITM to this House. There are some students at SAITM with Z-scores less than 0.058. There are many students with less than 1 point in their Z score. There are students who do not have minimum qualifications to read for the MBBS degree as stipulated by the Medical Council. We demand to know on what basis the Government is going to absorb them to the Medical Faculty of the KDU,” the JVP MP said.
The Bill seeks to bring in provisions to accommodate SAITM students at the KDU.
Bill to establish accreditation standards for private higher education
A Quality Assurance and Accreditation Bill will be introduced by the Government, to better oversee higher education institutes and avoid the repetition of issues such as the one arisen through the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, Higher Education Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said in Parliament yesterday.
The Minister made these remarks while initiating yesterday’s debate on the General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University (Special Provisions) Bill, noting that the proposed bill would bring about a lasting solution to the issue regarding the standards of degree awarding institutes.
“The draft of the Bill has already been finalised."
and it sets out a mechanism to assure the quality and recognition of the degree programs offered by private higher education institutes. The capacity, training and professional skills to start a higher education institute, the financial strength to provide necessary infrastructure, the qualifications and experience of the teachers and the quality of courses offered by private higher education institutes will be closely supervised under this legislation,” he said.
The Minister observed that there are mainly two opinions among intellectuals with regard to private education.
“The first is that private universities must exist but their quality must be 100% assured. The second is that private universities must exist as non-profitable institutes. The Government has to take a decision as to what opinion it endorses as the State’s policy. We will initiate a discussion at the Oversight Committee to decide on a State policy suitable to the country,” the Minister said.