The Ruling Regime's "tharuneyata hetak" aims to attract the less educated youth subtlety to be part of the UPFA's Youth Corps, whilst the latest "Boot Camp" for A level students aims to enslave them into taking thinking out of their psyche and accept authority and orders without question, in much the same way an Army is disciplined.
In the words of the Minister of Higher Education today, he said this program is an essential requirement for University entry, so that this country can build future leaders and teach them something about discipline (aka taking orders from higher authority)
In reality this letter goes out to all those who have sat A levels and not just to entrants, as those who have received this letter do not as yet know what the marks are to enter university, nor do they know if they are even eligible for entry. In reality therefore it becomes compulsory for a far greater population than university entrants which will only account for 17,000 this year and the plan is to put 200.000 through this program. It is currently noted to be a in house 3 week course at an army camp and the actual program and plan has not been publicised in order that criticism is minimized. There is a list of stuff they have to bring to the camp, which if they did not already posses would cost about Rs20,000 to purchase. So far as I know they will only receive two free T shirts each and a certificate saying they have attended the course. Additionally based on the letters that have been received by the first batch who have been asked to report on Monday, the locations are as far away from home as possible. A Colombo student has been asked to attend a camp in Trincomalee, and a Kandy student has to go to Boosa in Galle.
It is not clear if the sexes will be mixed or together and bearing in mind they are between 17 and 20 many females are bound to be apprehensive not knowing the safety element.
Having stated the facts I have been able to glean, (if someone has more accurate information, especially the instruction schedule, please comment on this here.) I do not know what can be instilled in 3 weeks in a student other than a brainwashing session of sorts. How can you instill leadership qualities in this short period. So this captive audience can be taught whatever the Defence Secretary thinks fit. All I can think is that he wants them to stop thinking and "do as I say and don't ask questions!"
In Sri Lanka we have a severe problem with thinking, as we are not taught at school to think nor are students asked to enquire, hence the name of the blog, with a prime purpose of getting the reader to think. That is why I believe this insidious program is shrouded with ill intentions rather than the potential it can have of teaching students to be responsible people in society, something that is desperately needed for our youth.
Why is the govt, not elaborating on the program, with a work flow.? We do not know if they are going to be taught to use guns or face a firing squad, that is how in the dark everyone is on this program. This has not even been discussed at length in Parliament, when it is a significant change to current practice even though the Minister maintains that no new laws or regulations are required to enact this program.
Let me conclude by saying that whilst I am not trying to prevent a pre university training of entrants in taking responsibility as the chosen few to receive a free education at a huge cost to the state, I am suspicious of this program as it lacks transparency, has not been debated and is shrouded in secrecy, and appears to include at least 10 times the final university entrants.
We have entered a very frightening period in this country's history where the ruling elite can do almost anything they wish and do not face any opposition due to the lack of time for debate because of the surreptitious speed with which most actions are introduced. Democracy is dead!!!!
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