My previous blog entries discussed the rights and privileges of education at Tertiary level especially as it relates to the Free Education concept.
If one enters a free education program, then should one accept what is on offer, or agitate for more, as is the current case with the Allied Health Sciences students? Those of us who look at it from the outside, believe that if a student partakes in a course that is free, they are by right denying another person that privilege, but they get in only due to their being “better’ as in Z score or fortunate as in District quota, where a better qualified student is denied entry from say Colombo.
So in this era of NO free education for all, but a few scholarships for some (22,000 who enter the State University system) , if you are not happy with the 3 year scholarship of a degree, then leave, and give it to a student who will gladly accept it. Your Z score only entitles you for that. If you say that external forces, have led to the forced reduction in your syllabus to three years and that you demand four years, what rights do you really have to say so, except point to an anomaly?
You cannot compare with a private sector education as market forces completely determine who enters, along with minimum qualifications. So you cannot demand, only make a rational case for your degree being worthless, or would leave you in an unemployable state within the State Health Sector. If the State offers a job at a reasonable remuneration, then you have less cause to complain, and if you wish to improve your skills by getting a higher degree, then you may have to pay for it.
It is these points that ought to be considered in your campaign as IUSF is also outdated, when they agitate for free education for all who pass A levels, an impossible demand for any country, especially Sri Lanka to even contemplate.
It is time you understand your privileged position within the hierarchy of undergraduates, and determine what the best course of action is given the alternatives. I do agree though that the GMOA is out of line in making demands, now they are interfering in the levels of qualifications that specialists posses in the Private Health Sector. They have NO say in this matter and it is for the UGC to work with the Health department to determine how best the shortage of Health Service workers are filled and at what income and qualification level.
The bottom line is, the reality that an Undergraduate in the State University system must really agitate for a good education in their chosen field and nothing else.