Kids from shanties shut out of big schools in Colombo

By Kaumadi Punsaradevi

Schools in Colombo refuse to enrol Grade One students living in shanties of Colombo and ignore their government-authorised ‘ownership cards’ issued in lieu of land deeds, says Sampath Rambukkanage the Pamankade (East) contestant from Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna for the CMC at the upcoming local government polls.

Speaking to The Island the SLPP candidate said yesterday that the ‘ownership cards’ initially issued by former Colombo Mayor B. Sirisena Cooray to those living in unauthorised dwellings on lands belonging to the CMC had previously been accepted by national schools, but now a group of principals from Colombo refused to accept them, Rambukkanage said.

Applicants from a low income families who produced the ownership cards instead of a land deeds at the 2018 intake interviews had been granted no points at all.

The family of a child from Kirulapone, who had been denied admission by a popular school in the city, revealed that the interview board had bluntly rejected the ownership card though the applicant’s elder sibling was already the same school having been admitted on the basis of the same card, Rambukkanage said.

The school had informed the applicant that the ownership card had been rejected according to a circular issued by the Education Ministry. But, when inquiries were made from the Education Ministry it had denied the existence of any such circular, Rambukkanage said.

Several applicants whose ownership cards were rejected by Colombo schools have complained to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL).

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