Paramilitary compromises activities of Zonal Education office in Kalkudaa
The Kalkudaa Zonal Education Office in Batticaloa district is functioning under the direct control of a paramilitary group, teachers and heads of schools complain. As a result of the paramilitary threat, the education of children has been hampered. Kalkudaa education zone was at 9th rank at provincial and island level in 2007. But the rank has now gone down to 16th place, the teachers say. In the meantime, officials of the education sector report misappropriation of funds by the paramilitary.
81 schools are in the three education divisions in the Kalkudaa zone. 35 schools are classified as situated in most-under-developed areas, 26 in under-developed areas and 20 schools in normal areas.
Recently, funds were allocated under the so-called Eastern Revival (Negenahira Navodaya) and Gamaneguma under Mahinda Chintana to develop 30 schools in Kalkudaa. As a first step, some non-governmental organizations have also allocated more than one million rupees for the construction of latrines in these schools.
Tenders for the construction of latrines have been assigned to contractors, who were recommended by the paramilitary.
The zonal director of education has not been adhering to legal tender procedures, as he is discharging his duties as dictated by the paramilitary group, the civil officials said.
Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillayan, the leader of a paramilitary group and the former chief minister of the now dissolved Eastern Provincial Council (EPC), while attending the meeting of heads of schools, has ‘instructed’ the teachers and heads of schools to campaign for him in the coming provincial elections.