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Colombo must help expats’ kids

Sri Lankan expatriates working in Gulf countries are major contributors of valuable foreign exchange to their home country. The government should provide them more recognition. These men and women toil in foreign countries, leaving behind their dearest family members back home. It is unfortunate that state authorities in Sri Lanka do not take timely steps to address their grievances. There are occasions when children of expatriate workers studying in Gulf are forced to relocate to their home country.
This happens when their parents move on to a different Gulf country seeking better prospects. Children are also affected when parents lose their Middle East jobs.
We have come across cases when such children’s education is jeopardized because Sri Lankan education authorities do not help their parents or guardians in school admissions. Children who grew up in the Gulf are struggling to gain admission to English medium National Schools in Colombo. Several complaints made to the authorities in Colombo have not been given due consideration.
It will be a good idea if Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa intervenes in this matter and orders the education minister to allocate a quota for children relocating from the Gulf to Colombo.
Several Sri Lankan families from abroad moved to settle in their homeland after terrorism was defeated in 2009.
We have seen that some children are being driven from pillar to post when they seek admission to National Schools in Colombo. This is an unfortunate situation.
National reconciliation is a priority in post-war Sri Lanka. But bureaucrats working in the Education Ministry are creating hurdles to this difficult process.
The president, who has popular support, must look into the genuine grievances of children of Sri Lankan expatriates seeking admission to leading government schools in Colombo. — Sivakumaran, Jeddah