Computer Technology, Construction, General Gerry de Silva, General Kamal Guneratne, health care, Jeevan Thiagarajah, Kosovo, Macedonia, Manufacturing, Ohrid, Prilep, Sector Skills Councils, Skopje, Tourism, TVEC
but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done
I had an intense programme when I got back in Colombo at the end of October, for we were hastening to finalize several curricula, in the different areas in which Sector Skills Councils had been set up, Construction and Manufacturing and Computer Technology and Tourism. Then we were also trying to do more in the Service Sector, with health care and logistics being priorities. In addition, since I found that nothing had moved with regard to the Teacher Development programme Mahinda Samarasinghe had wanted expedited for those who had qualified in the Technological Stream at the Advanced Levels, I had to take charge of that too. And we had decided to have workshops to train teachers in the new curricula, which involved pushing things though I was happy that the new Industrial Liaison Division we had set up was able to handle these.
We had also decided on residential workshops for the English teachers, since it seemed essential to develop a high powered group who could take things forward in later years. By now I had a superb set of support staff at the TVEC, the daughter of one of my best GELT Coordinators of the nineties to look after the English programme, a former Coordinating Secretary from my days in Parliament to follow up on training since previously Ministry programmes had not been concerned with follow up, and then an Editor for all the new material we were producing, a bright youngster proposed and paid for by the World University of Canada, with whom we were working closely.
Interestingly enough Jeevan Thiagarajah, who has been a tower of strength in many areas I have worked in when these overlapped with his own humanitarian concerns, had recommended the young man earlier, as having been involved with the establishment of the Sector Councils. But early on in my time at the TVEC I had tried to avoid responsibility for the Councils, and it was only towards the middle of the year that I realized Mahinda Samarasinghe was right, and I had to take over if they were to achieve anything.
My team found a great hotel in Negombo, which turned out to be the old Sunflower, where I had put up Geraldine McEwan when she toured Sri Lanka for the British Council with a One-Woman show based on the works of Jane Austen. That had been the inspiration for the One-Man Dickens show I had later devised for Richard de Zoysa, and we had toured almost the same places. But I avoided Negombo for Dickens, because the audience at Geraldine’s performance at Maris Stella had made it clear that Negombo no longer had a an audience for English language performances (quite unlike Batticaloa where the small crowd had been marvelously appreciative). Continue reading