February 21, 2019

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    No int’l school student barred from sitting A/L’s as private candidate

    January 03, 2019

    No international school student had been barred from sitting for the GCE Advanced Level Examination as private candidates since the inception of international school system in Sri Lanka, Commissioner General of Examinations B. Sanath Pujitha said. The Commissioner General further said that after perusing past examination results up to 2013, he found 11 students who attended international schools were among the top 10 island rankers.
    Pujitha, refuting the recent comments by UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena, said the Examination Department has always been treating all school and private candidates, who sit for the A-L exam for the first time, in an equal manner.“That had been the practice even when MP Gunawardena was the Education Minister. There had been one each in 2013, 2015 and 2018 among the top 10 island rankers who had attended international schools. In 2016, there had been two and in 2017 there had been six. They had sat for the exam in various subject streams. There is no bar for any candidate, who sits for the exam, to secure top ranks by their performance. This particular student, who became island first in the Arts Stream, had been registered as a private candidate and the application had been properly signed by the Grama Sevaka,” the Commissioner General explained.


    UPFA MP Gunawardena at a press conference earlier this week accused the Government of “mixing” the A-L results of Government and international school students. He remarked that allowing international school students to sit for local exams “had never happened before” and was a “premeditated conspiracy to undermine the state education system”.
    The above comments by MP Gunawardena made the rounds on social media and were confronted by many individuals. Some those who passed out from international schools even posted their Exam result sheets to prove that it had been a long-standing practice.
    UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa, expressing an opposite view to MP Gunawardena, Tweeted yesterday stating that, “Free education is essential in ensuring children receive the opportunities they deserve. There shouldn’t be discrimination between local and international schools for national exams and if there are concerns they should be addressed without disrupting the children’s achievements”. However MP Gunawardena reportedly repeated his accusations again at an SLPP press conference in Battaramulla yesterday.
    Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, issuing a media statement, also strongly condemned MP Gunawardena’s statement. “MP Gunawardena’s statement was misleading and false. It was a shameful attempt to meddle with education for narrow political gains,” said Kariyawasam also observing that it was an unwarranted statement by a former education minister .

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