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Sri Lanka’s FUTA questions regulator decision to reopen universities in May

Entrance to the Sri Jayawardenapura University – file photo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) urged the University Grants Commission (UGC) yesterday to reconsider a decision to reopen state universities in May.

Issuing a statement, FUTA questioned the rationale behind the UGC decision in a situation where the government has yet to rule out the possibility of a surge in COVID-19 caes even as the situation appears to be under control.

“Though the COVID-19 situation in the country appears to be under control compared to other countries, the daily patient count is still in the rise and more importantly, the epidemiologists and the medical experts have not ruled out the possibility of a surge in the number of patients yet,” the statement said.

The UGC’s announcement regarding a three phase reopening of state universities starting from May 4, FUTA said, came as  a surprise to the entire country.

“Though all of us would loved to see the end of this crisis and resume to work as soon as possible, your decision to reopen the universities even before the government eases the restrictions on social movements seems a bit premature and irrational.

“Considering the safety of the students and the staff under the prevailing situation, FUTA urged the UGC to explain the rationale behind its decision to  reopen the universities on the given dates “at a time when all expert in the entire world have failed to accurately predict a timeline to eradicate the disease,” it added. (Colombo/Apr16/2020)

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