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Sri Lankan govt to assist Buddhist religious education

ColomboPage News Desk, April 7, 2005

The Buddha Sasana Ministry is also considering honouring Dhamma teachers with Justice of the Peace posts and providing them with foreign trips.

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The Sri Lankan government has taken steps to assist Buddhist religious education in the country, as it attributes the escalation of violence to the lack of religious education.

It has also found that a large number of Dhaham Pasalas attached to temples in remote villages lack resources and facilities to conduct Dhamma schools. One basic need has been to have teachers for Dhamma education on a regular basis.

There are about 9500 Dhaham Pasalas with 72,000 teachers to impart religious education to 2.2 million students.

With a view to obtaining the services of religious teachers, the government has decided to give an allowance to the Dhaham Pasala teachers and to recruit through the Education Ministry those who have successfully completed the ?Dhammacharya examination?, making it compulsory for them to pass the exam in order to teach at the Dhaham Pasalas on Sundays.

?This I see as one solution to the dearth of teachers we need in the Dhaham Pasalas,? Buddha Sasana Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said.

The government is also considering laws to ban tuition classes on Sundays. Other steps envisaged by the Buddha Sasana Ministry include honouring Dhamma teachers with Justice of the Peace posts and providing them with foreign trips and free traveling facilities within the country. ?These proposals will be given due attention and will implement all that is possible,? the Minister added.

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