Sri Lanka closes schools amid fuel crisis: report

Fuel crisis: Sri Lanka had announced that it would also close schools for a week in June. (File)

Colombo:

Amid an unprecedented fuel crisis, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education has declared a week of vacation for all government and state-approved private schools from July 4.

The Sri Lankan Minister of Education said the school will cover the syllabus in the next holiday period.

Also earlier, on June 18, the Sri Lankan government had announced to close all schools for a week.

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Education announced that “all government and government-approved private schools in Colombo’s city limits, as well as schools in other major cities in the other provinces, will be closed for the next week due to extended power cuts,” the Daily reported. mirror. reported.

Nihal Ranasinghe, the secretary of the Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka, asked the schools to conduct online classes and said the division-level schools will be allowed to teach with fewer pupils in circumstances where transport problems affect the pupils, teachers and principals. not hinder.

He announced that the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has agreed not to have power cuts between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to facilitate online teaching on weekdays, the Daily Mirror reported.

Sri Lanka, previously an upper-middle-income country, has been battling an economic crisis since March this year that has been unparalleled since the country gained independence in 1948.

Severe protests have sparked political unrest, leading to the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, from the post of prime minister and the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s prime minister in May.

Food inflation in May stood at 57.4 percent, while shortages of major food items, as well as fuel for cooking, transportation and industry remain rife, with ongoing daily power cuts.

The economy is bracing for a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of basic inputs for manufacturing, an 80 percent depreciation of the currency since March 2022, coupled with a lack of foreign reserves and the country’s failure to meet its targets. international debt obligations.

The economic crisis has particularly affected food security, agriculture, livelihoods and access to health services. Food production in the last harvest season was 40 to 50 percent lower than last year, and the current farming season is at risk, with seeds, fertilizers, fuel and credit shortages.

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