Principals dragging feet over Grade 1 admissions

by Wijitha Nakkawita and Lakshmi de Silva

Amidst allegations of bribery and corruption by principals of certain leading schools, several parents have complained that admissions to Grade I, in such schools, for the current year had not been finalized up to the second week of March.

Parents said that hardly one month remained for the first term school vacation while the education officials and principals were dragging their feet on the admission of children to Grade I in a number of schools. Children who had not yet gained admission to schools were frustrated to see others of their age group going to school while they languished at home for more than two months.

During a recent protest by parents of children seeking admission to Grade I in schools such as Royal College and D. S. Senanyake College, Colombo, parents also handed over a petition to the Bribery Commission alleging certain irregularities and corruption in admissions with children of parents living far away from certain leading schools being admitted while children living in very close proximity to schools were refused admission.

When asked for a comment, Director, National Schools, Ministry of Education Sri Lal Nonis said 15 leading schools in and around Colombo had not yet finalized their admissions to grade one due to various problems. Admissions to Grade I of Royal College will be finalized by March 11, Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya, March 15, and some of the other popular schools were also in the process of finalizing the admission lists.

Asked about the complaint made by parents of some popular schools of Colombo to the Commission Investigating Bribery or Corruption, Nonis said he was aware that the Commission was conducting an investigation and the ministry was prepared to assist the commission in the event it seeks any information or assistance from the ministry but he was not aware about its details yet.



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