Early admissions to universities mooted


By Dasun Edirisinghe

The Higher Education Ministry will hold discussions soon with a view to reducing the age of admission to universities. The Ministry’s is to minimize the unnecessary waste of students’ time after national examinations.

Secretary to the Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that the world standard was 12 years of school education to enter universities, but in Sri Lanka it was a minimum of 13 years.

He said that the students had to spend an additional year in the GCE (Advanced Level) class, according to Sri Lanka’s education system.

After GCE (A/L) examination too, students had to wait almost one year to enter university, if selected.

Sri Lankan students thus wasted about three years between Grade One and the university, Dr. Navaratne said adding that it had resulted in students having to study in universities until they reached their mid twenties.

He said that in most other countries students graduated from the university by the age of 22.

If the waste of time could be reduced, Sri Lankan students could enter universities at least by the age of 18, the secretary said, adding that in Japan there was only one national level examination and students enter universities based on its results.

"We received several requests from parents, intellectuals and several stakeholders in the education sector to reduce the age of admission to universities," Dr. Navaratne said, adding that following those requests his ministry would initiate a discussion.

This was not an easy task that could be completed overnight and the Higher Education Ministry itself could not achieve it alone either, he said.

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