Sajith accuses govt of coming up with cockeyed arguments

Grade V scholarship examination

By Dasun Edirisinghe

Hambantota District UNP parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa said that if education ministry had abolished the Grade V scholarship examination on grounds it caused undue stress in students, the government would have to abolish the GCE (Ordinary Level) and GCE (Advanced Level) examinations too as those exams also caused tremendous stress.

He said that the government’s effort to amend or abolish the Grade V scholarship examination would affect rural students who studied under severe hardships.

Premadasa said that late Minister C. W. W. Kannangara’s free education system helped rural poor students, who studied to enter popular schools and Central Colleges countrywide based on the results of Grade V scholarship examination.

"Later those students reached top posts in the country in every field," he said.

Premadasa said that obtaining high marks at the Grade V scholarship examination was the only chance a rural poor student got to enter schools with all facilities like Royal and Visakha, but the government would block that avenue soon.

The MP said that intellectuals had been urging the government to allocate 6% of GDP to education, but it had not heeded that request.

Late Presidents J. R. Jayewardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa had introduced the free school text book, free meals and free uniforms programmes, but the present government had failed to take them forward, Premadasa claimed.

"This government cut down the free school meals programme and now only 27% students are receiving free meals," he said.

Premadasa said that the government could not distribute school text books and uniforms on time.

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