CIABOC moved against ‘questionable’ scholarship scheme for teachers

Project rejected by Dullas and GL receives approval

By Saman Indrajith

JVP-led Ceylon Teacher Services Union (CTSU) on Wednesday (29) lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) over alleged irregularities in awarding foreign postgraduate scholarships to those in the education administrative service.

CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that they had requested the CIABOC to investigate the selection process followed by the Education Ministry in awarding full scholarships to 54 officers of the Sri Lanka Education Administration Service (SLEAS) to study in the UK.

Speaking to journalists outside the Bribery Commission Jasyasinghe said: “The World Bank is funding the scholarship scheme and about eight million rupees is to be spent on each beneficiary. The selection process lacks transparency. Therefore we urge the Bribery Commission to look into this.”

Jayasinghe said that each recipient of scholarship would be given eight million rupees as course fee and the ministry was planning to spend Rs 432 million for that purpose alone. “The 54 SLEAS officers is only the first batch. The entire project will benefit 300 SLEAS officers and the total cost will be 2,400 million rupees. We suspect that there is corruption in the selection process and other financial transactions with regard to this first batch, because we know that monies have been paid out of the ministry funds for visas of four selected officers without following due process,” Jayasinghe said.

He said the entire project was questionable and former education ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris and Dullas Alahapperuma had rejected it. “If the government wants to send SLEAS officers overseas for higher education there is a procedure and it can find qualified personnel in a transparent manner.”

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