The Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) probing Grade One school admissions has found that more than 50 percent of children have been admitted to national schools based on fraudulent documents and horrifyingly the principal of a leading school in Colombo was among those who sold forged documents.
The principal allegedly offered the forged documents at Rs. 20,000 a set to parents, who wanted their children admitted to the school, PIU chief M. Wickramasinghe told The Sunday Times.
PIU investigators have located the place where the documents such as the Grama Sevaka certificate, birth certificates and the electorate register were forged.
The shocking disclosures have been made during a detailed investigation carried out by the unit into 14 national schools which were among some 120 schools from where complaints of irregularities were received. The PIU chief said some addresses from where children had been admitted to school were non existent while proof had been found that they had prepared forged electoral lists.
Among them is a student who was admitted to Ananda college from a dilapidated house which was unoccupied for more than 25 years. The student`s family lived in Ragama. Soon after the investigations began on this case, the file relating to the admission had gone missing.
A former PA deputy minister, an official of the Bribery Commission, police officers and a doctor are among those who had produced forged documents to gain admission to Ananda College, the PIU chief said.
During the investigation regarding Kingswood College, Kandy, the PIU found that the principal was allegedly responsible for altering marks provided by the interview board. In some cases 44 marks had been altered to 55, Mr. Wickramasinghe said. At Minuwangoda Nalanda Balika, the PIU detectives found that the principal was allegedly responsible for collecting donations and issued no receipts, despite a ban on such donations.
In addition to the principals of Ananda and Kingswood for alleged involvement in admission irregularities, the Education Ministry has also interdicted the principals of Maliyadeva Balika, Kurunegala, Nalanda Balika Minuwangoda and Pannala Central.
Ananda College Principal B. A. Abeyratne declined to comment on his interdiction while Kingswood Principal Ranjith Chandrasekara said no charge sheet had been served on him.
Meanwhile Education Ministry Additional Secretary S. L. Gunawardena who supervises Grade One admissions said action would be taken if parents and students continued protests against the interdiction of the principals.