JHU: Outsiders benefit from lower Z-score in backward districts

GCE A/L examination


by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Jathika Guru Saviya (JGS) affiliated to the JHU yesterday urged the government to amend present circulars that prevent students from the districts where high Z score rankings are required for them to enter university to sit the GCE A/L examination in areas such as Nuwara Eliya District, where Z score is lower for university admission due to lack of facilities available for the candidates.

The practice had been in place for nearly 40 years, but the incumbent government was silent on the issue even though the situation had taken a turn for the worse, JGS President Boseth Kalahepathirana told a

media conference at the JHU head office in Battaramulla.

He said the district quota system had been introduced years back to prevent injustices caused to the children from remote areas as regards university entrance.

The minimum Z score rankings for university entrance are in difficult districts such as Nurawa Eliya and Moneragala.

He said this year too instances of outsiders sitting the GCE A/L examination had been reported from Nuwara Eliya, Puttalam and Anuradhapura Districts and the government had called for an inquiry to be conducted by Zonal Education Directors after interdicting the principals of those schools.

Kalahepathirana said not only principals but also the Divisional and Zonal Education Directors had to be suspended.

"We demand a ministerial level probe into such incidents," he said, adding there was also a pressing need to change the present circular to prevent future such incidents.

JGS Nuwara Eliya District Coordinator Ven. Makandure Rathana Thera said 30 student had sat the A/L examination in the science stream at St. Xavier’s College, Nuwara Eliya though the school did not have a science section or any teacher for A/L science subjects.

He said all students were outsiders who have never attended that school but everyday the register was marked for them at the school.

"According to our information, the same thing happened in 17 schools in the Nuwara Eliya District, but only the Principal of St. Xavier’s College was interdicted," Rathana Thera said, adding they had provided all information in writing to the relevant authorities.

They said they had also informed President Maithripala Sirisena of the situation in a letter yesterday morning. Rathana Thera said they were prepared to stage a hunger strike to ensure that justice was done to the children in the far-flung areas.

Convener of the Movement to Protect Rights of Nuwara Eliya Students, attorney-at-law Gamini Senanayake said 185 outside students sat for the A/L examination at 17 schools in Nuwara Eliya District this year.

He said two thirds of students selected for the medical faculties last year were outsiders. Of them, the addresses of first three students were in Jaffna.

Senanayake asked unions in the health sector including the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) and Medical Faculty Student Unions to come forward to prevent the sordid practice.

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