Thousands of bright students have been deprived of admission to universities, due to no fault of their own but that of a faulty computer being used by the Department of Examinations for marking of answer scripts.
The Examination Department is re-scrutinizing 150,000 Bio and Physical Sciences Advanced Level answer scripts, including the controversial Chemistry I paper.
Due to this, the enrollment of students to the universities, including the 16,292 already selected, has been suspended till the fresh results are submitted tomorrow (3) to the University Grants Commission.
The results of Chemistry I paper of the GCE Advanced Level 2005 examination, a multiple choice question paper, caused a controversy and had thousands of students and parents querying its validity and demanding that the education authorities re-scrutinise the answer scripts.
The crisis erupted following the issuance of `Z Score` marks for enrolling new batches of students to universities.
The answer papers marked by Examination Department`s computers had shown an unbelievable number of disparities and differences. More than 7,500 students applied for the re-correction. But the revised marks were also unacceptable due to the huge margins that the machine had indicated.
The Examinations Department later admitted that their Optical Marks Reading Machine had not marked the Chemistry I paper properly in some districts. The MCQ paper is not usually re-corrected since it is marked by the OMR, department sources said.
Following the unusual number of applications for the re-correction, Examination Commissioner Anura Edirisinghe had ordered re-scrutinizing of the answer scripts of the Chemistry I paper and found that results were incorrect.
Commissioner Edirisinghe had submitted a special report to the University Grants Commission on the disparities of the results sheets.
The Examinations Commissioner said that the results of candidates of Matara, Gale, Matale and Kuruegala were incorrect.
He further said that the manual re-marking of the answer scripts could prove that the OMR machine was not functioning properly and the matter was discussed with the Secretary of the Education Ministry, Ariyaratne Hewage.
The machine that produced incorrect results had been brought from India six years ago.
New machines that had been imported to mark the answer scripts would be used for re-scrutinizing purposes, Edirisinghe said.