There currently are over 100 National Schools without Principals. They are some of the best Government Schools, managed directly by the Department of Education, centrally as opposed to the majority of schools that are run by the Provincial Councils.
It is a disgrace to have schools without a CEO, and temporary appointments will NOT do. The Principal is the one who effectively runs the school and ensures all the standards that the school aspires are to, are met. Therefore it is unfair on the Students of some of these very large schools to run themselves and be directionless.
It is incumbent upon the Public Service Commission to interview suitable candidates for these positions and then once decided, send these appointments to the Department of Education for ratification, a sometimes cumbersome and bureaucratic task. Nevertheless this MUST be done before the new school year in Sri Lanka begins in January 2013. Mind you most Government Schools will close for the December vacation in a day or two only to open in 2013 with a new school year with all the students going to new classes and levels, with a new intake into Grade 1, and the exit of the Grade 13 students who sat their A levels in July.
Suffice to mention at this point that the Govt. has allocated and purchased/printed text books to the tune of Rs2.4Billion rupees to give to all students in schools, that is 37 million copies of 437 text books, printed in English, Sinhala and Tamil to 4.1 millions school students in Govt. schools. This does not amount to new text books for each of the students, but the used text books are sorted into reusable and not, and only acceptable quality used books along with a mixture of new books are given to the students. The Teachers determine how the books are divided amongst the pupils, hopefully in an equitable manner. There are rules in schools as to how to preserve and cover the books as they are the property of the schools, and the students are required to maintain them and put color coordinated covers. When a new syllabus is issued, then all the books for that subject are new.
It is time the Ministry of Education took urgent steps to rectify this anomaly of lack of Principals and appoint the suitably qualified ones without delay. The bureaucratic Education Department MUST share the blame, and pull their socks up from slumber for the sake of the students of Sri Lanka.