school scam: 50 percent of admissions on forged documents
By Sachitra Mahendra
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.
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.
investigators have located the place where the documents such as
the Grama Sevaka certificate, birth certificates and the electorate
register were forged.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.