Bandula urged to tackle corruption in schools without trying to scrap scholarship exam


by Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY: What Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana should do at this moment was to save parents from being exploited by heads of schools collecting funds in numerous ways rather than trying to scrap the Grade Five Scholarship Examination and deprive the poor children of an opportunity to enter popular schools, President of the National Teachers’ Council, former parliamentarian Nimal Premawansa told a media conference on Wednesday (08).

Premawansa said principals of schools in Kandy like anywhere else in the country had turned into money-grabbers. They obtained large amounts of money from parents for school admissions.

Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa had warned a principal of a boys’ school in Kandy a few days back that he should not ask for money from parents to admit children to his  school, the former MP disclosed, paying a tribute to the governor for taking action against the principal.

Premawansa accused the heads of schools in Kandy both National and rovincial of collecting money even from poor parents.

Receipts were not issued for payments. The parents were directed to deposit money in an account and only its number was given. It was the modus operandi of such principals and their stooges, Premawansa noted.

The helpless parents with much difficulty oblige fearing that their children would be made to suffer if they failed to contribute, he said.

The Minister of Education should take effective action against collecting funds from parents rather than trying to abolish the scholarship examination, which was the only avenue for poor talented children to get admitted to schools with facilities, he said.

The minister should prevent corruption at schools since the state education sector was the second highest bribe taking body in the country. The police Department being the first, Premawansa added.

Deputy President of the National Teachers Council (NTC) G. I. N. Bandara was also present.

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