The President does not have any authority or power to make education an essential service, said the Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU).
Secretary of the CTU Joseph Stalin also said the president cannot prosecute teachers for withdrawing from evaluating GCE A/L examination answer scripts, or forfeit their property.
University teachers too, must be involved in this process, and their demands must be met, he stressed.
Stalin said that marking answer scripts has been delayed due to the actions of the government.
The president's decision to make education an essential service can only be seen as a repressive measure, he said.
The education minister submitted a cabinet paper to give a Rs. 3,000 allowance to teachers for marking the answer scripts.
But, it has been dragged on by the Treasury for two months now.
If the president challenges the teachers, their unions will not hesitate to throw the challenge back at him, he warned.
The CTU secretary added that textbooks for 2023 have not been distributed as yet and school uniforms are not distributed properly, noting that such shortcomings should have been met by the government.
I will not allow children’s education to be taken hostage - President