The Education Ministry yesterday appointed a committee to look into ways of implementing a national policy on Grade 1 admissions to both national and provincial schools next year.
Ministry Secretary Ariyaratne Hewage told journalists the committee would comprise Ministry officials and provincial education authorities who would study the present system before making new recommendations. The committee is expected to submit a report by May this year.
Some 90,000 students seek admission to Grade I classes every year and presently the process is handled by school principals. Children are admitted to schools under six groupings such as the brother, teacher, chief occupant, past pupil and other categories.
Meanwhile, a senior Ministry official who did not wish to be named claimed that there were several shortcomings in the selection of these categories and therefore insisted the formulation of a national policy to streamline the selection process. ?Today there are two systems to admit children for national and provincial schools. Why can`t we have one national policy for both national and provincial schools,? he asked.
The Grade 1 admission was taken over by the Education Ministry last year on a directive by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga as the Education Minister. The principals were completely left out of the process citing several irregularities and malpractices when it was handled by them.
However, the present Education Minister Susil Premajayantha handed over the process back to school principals after the Ministry faced a series of problems in the process.
AL exam starts on May 22
The G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination will be held from May 22 to June 17, the Education Ministry announced yesterday.
Ministry Secretary Ariyaratne Hewage told a news conference the decision was taken by Examinations Chief Anura Edirisinghe amidst requests by some students and parents to postpone the exam till August while others insisted to hold it in April. The Ministry has also altered the school terms for the year with the first academic term of schools ending as usual on April 7 and the second term starting on April 24 though it was previsoulsy scheduled to start on April 28.
Mr.Hewagae said some 600 schools used as examination centres and evaluation centres would be closed again in May and June during the exam period.
The exams chief had earlier requested to postpone the exam due to the inconvenience caused to students due to the delay in revising the last Advanced Level science stream answer scripts.