Concern Over Royal College Deputy
- Pending reappointment of deputy principal leads to fresh protests
By Dinouk Colombage
The pending reappointment of Sumedha Jayaweera as Deputy Principal of Royal College has resulted in growing concern amongst members of the parent body and the old boys’ union.
Despite Jayaweera earlier stating that there had been no inquiry held prior to her transfer from the school, the Director of Education at the Ministry of Education, Lalani Wijesekara, confirmed that an inquiry had been held.
“As this was a formal case I cannot comment. But there was an inquiry held regarding Royal College and its principals,” she said.
Informed sources have said that contrary to Jayaweera’s comments that she was not informed of any allegations levelled against her, an inquiry had been held for two months in which over 20 members of the staff, including herself, were questioned.
However, Jayaweera denied that any such inquiry had been held and insisted that she had not been made aware of any complaints made against her. “When the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) was looking in to the case, the Old Boy’s Union submitted a petition. Because they have no say in the administrative running of the school, the tribunal rejected this petition,” she said.
She added that an inquiry against the Principal, Upali Gunasekara, had been held. Gunasekara refused to comment. A petition which was signed by members of the Royal College Old Boy’s Union and the parent body was handed over to the AAT and highlighted the complaints levelled against Jayaweera. It described the Deputy Principal as having abused her position of power, hindered the operations of the school through negligence as well as complaints from staff members. Jayaweera refused to comment any further, adding that the AAT and Supreme Court had ruled in her favour and she was awaiting a transfer back to Royal College. While this petition has had no impact on the decision made by the AAT, a member of the parent body expressed reservations about her reappointment.
Sunela Fernando, mother of Johann Fernando, said that she was not happy that the Jayaweera had been reappointed.
“When the parents found out last year that she had been transferred we were very happy. She was not a good deputy and her poor performances disrupted the operations of the school,” she said. Fernando said that she knew of several parents who had lodged complaints against Jayaweera, “these parents have complained that her child has received special attention over theirs.” This accusation is denied by Jayaweera. However despite the AAT ruling in favour of Jayaweera and instructing the Public Service Commission (PSC) to reappoint her at Royal College, this has not happened. “I do not know why they are delaying my reappointment. The AAT has ruled in my favour. It is now up to the PSC to notify the Ministry who will reappoint me,” she said.The PSC refused to comment.