Jan 14, Colombo: Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena says that the law will be strictly implemented in order to eradicate the unhealthy situation within the universities arising from ragging, bullying and violence.
The Minister said the objective of this measure is to provide opportunity for all university students to receive education without fear and suspicion.
He pointed out that another challenged for the students who passed the GCE A/L exam and enter the universities is the ragging.
This system of physical and psychological violence with a political tendency has been operating in the university system for a long time.
Although successive governments have enacted laws and pledged strict legal action, the abhorrent practice continues in the island’s higher education institutions.
The seriousness of the menace is evident from the substantial number of students, who are leaving the university education every year due to ragging.
The maximum number of students enrolled in the national university system so far is about 30,000 and out of that nearly 2,000 students were forced to quit school and lose their degrees
Although there have been many discussions and consultations on this issue, no government has been able to eliminate or reduce the practice.
The new President has decided to expand the opportunities for higher education in line with his manifesto “Vision for Prosperity”. It is a challenge if the students leave universities due to ragging when the government provides such an opportunity for further education.
Expressing his views, the Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said the provisions of the Anti-ragging Act should be properly implemented.
Under the Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act No. 20 of 1998 the ragging is a distinct and punishable offence by law.
“If someone threatens or obstructs the implementation of the Act, there are legal provisions in place for such offenses. Actions will be taken accordingly and not mediate politically. The judiciary has strictly enforced justice. We believe that all relevant parties will work together to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of protecting every child,” the Minister said.