The Sunday Leader

Principal Under Fire Over Beer Party In School

Akila Viraj Kariyawasam

by Hafsa Sabry

The principal of a girl’s school in Ambalangoda has come under fire over a beer party held in the school by some of the students.

The principal of Prajapathi Gothami Vidyalaya has refused to resign by accepting responsibility for the actions of the students. The students have been accused of bringing beer and consuming it in school during school hours.

The General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Teachers’ Association, Joseph Stalin claimed that even though numerous allegations have been raised against the principal, action against her is yet to be taken by the authorities concerned, allegedly owing to political influence.

“There are alot of allegations against the principal for not taking proper action against the students. This has resulted in the students doing what they want during the school hours like consuming beer,”Stalin told The Sunday Leader.

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam however said that school principals cannot be transferred due to the misbehaviour of students and instead the students should be monitored and disciplined to ensure they adhere to the rules and regulations of the school. However trade unions claim corruption, fraud and irregularities have taken place in the school and if the weak administration of the principal had been noted such incidents would not have taken place.

“Of course we know children do wrong and we cannot blame or punish others for it, instead the principal should be strong enough to prevent such incidents. If a principal cannot discipline her students there is no point in her serving in the school as a principal so she should be transferred and action against her should be taken for failing to regulate the school in an appropriate way,” Stalin said.

“Nevertheless, it is a problem with the top management as well. When the education ministry and their officials fail to take an appropriate decision on behalf of such complaints, there are possibilities that these incidents could recur allowing the students to continue to misbehave,” Stalin further stated.

Stalin alleged that when discussions are held on issues in schools, the authorities fail to consider the allegations against the alleged person.

He said the Minister or the Secretary to the Ministry when taking decisions meets up with politicians and not with the teachers unions or other school related civil organisations and the outcome of the discussion is politicised.

“It is also obvious that a powerful politician of the area is involved in the prevention of any action being taken against her. When one politician suggests transferring the principal the other says not to do it. .They should investigate the allegations seriously; there is no point if decisions are taken according to what the politicians say,” alleged Stalin.

“The teachers union will take a legal action against the principal who is alleged to have failed to take action against the students’ misbehaviour,” Stalin added. It was also reported that the Education Secretary of the Southern Province had requested during a public event for the principal to accept that a serious offence had been committed at her school and to leave the school to which she gave no response.

Even though the Education Secretary had made such a statement, Education authorities of the Southern Province have not yet been able to transfer the principal due to the influence of the politician.

However, the Ministry of Education says it has launched investigations into a number of corrupt incidents, frauds and irregularities alleged to have taken place at this school including this particular accusation. Furthermore, Joseph Stalin said that 76 teachers of the school are to be summoned to the Ministry of Education at Isurupaya in Battaramulla in the future in connection with these investigations.

Education Minister AkilaViraj Kariyawasam said that it is true that there is a big responsibility for the principal to control such misbehaviour in the school, but such incidents take place in several schools occasionally and if the Ministry starts to transfer principals from schools where students misbehaved then all the school principals will have to be transferred.

“Stern action should be taken against the students to stop such incidents from recurring. Also since it is not a national school it is the responsibility of the secretary of the education ministry in the southern province to address this issue,” he added.

One student among the students who were having beer during a free period when the class teacher was not present, had accidentally spilled her beer can which resulted in the whole classroom smelling of beer and this was noted by the teacher who came in next to conduct her class. When the complaint was referred to the principal she is alleged to have refused to take action but was later forced to do so following pressure from the staff and parents.


2 Comments for “Principal Under Fire Over Beer Party In School”

  1. a former teacher

    Why the alarm ? the school was only trying to join the school culture found elsewhere or was it ?.Unless there is an age stipulated like in USA where alcohol is not served to those under 21 years of age ..lots of rules to come into place for we are fast forwarding our attitudes to keep up with the world where our youth dreams of to be ..Calmly lets think of the solutions where we do not just raise our hands in alarm.. Beer in school seems nothing to some kids for the Parents have more on the table .

  2. Sira

    Leave the principal alone.
    My younger brother was smoking weed at school with friends, we gave him a thrashing at home and he was kicked out of school.Poor teachers had nothing to do with it and they almost lost their jobs due to my stupid idiotic brother.

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