Nov 29, Colombo: Patali Champika Ranawaka, Chair to the Sub Committee on Identifying the Short & Medium-Term Programs related to Economic Stabilization of the National Council stated yesterday (28) that attention should be paid to the possibility of schools using physical resources to uplift the country’s economy through food production and electricity generation.
The Chairman to the Committee said this during the discussion held with school principals and representatives of teachers, representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Treasury when called before this sub-committee to look into the concerns regarding nutrition and transportation of school children as well as the possibility of using schools for economic development.
The sub-committee recommended to the Ministry of Education to carry out a survey of the land owned by the schools across the island, excluding the buildings, as there is a possibility of growing crops on the empty lands owned by the schools.
Furthermore, the committee chair mentioned that electricity can be produced by installing solar panels on the roof of school buildings, and accordingly, an energy manager should be appointed to manage electricity consumption in schools more effectively.
It was discussed that the program of providing food to school students can be successfully implemented as a cooperative program involving schools and the relevant community. The chairman of the committee also pointed out that by preparing a more effective and transparent mechanism, a project to provide food to school students can even get the support of Sri Lankans abroad.
Furthermore, the committee also drew attention to the transportation difficulties faced by students and teachers while traveling to schools.
It was also discussed that the Sri Lanka Transport Board and private bus owners provide school transport services, but due to restrictions on the import of buses and spare parts, they have not been able to deploy enough buses.
The committee also drew attention to the issues faced by the students as the price of school stationery like paper including exercise books has risen.
The chairman of the committee also asked the officials of the Ministry of Education to look into the possibility of providing stationery including exercise books to schools at a concessional rate by the Sri Lanka Printing Corporation.