ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 9, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 41

Grade One classes a non starter

By Isuri Kaviratne

Many schools in the country are yet to begin Grade One classes, third month into the year, despite the government’s repeated assurance that schools will complete admissions to Grade One and start classes by the second week of January, Apart from Royal College and Visakha Vidyalaya, many other leading Colombo and outstation schools are yet to start their Grade One classes.

D.S. Senanayake College which held the welcoming ceremony for its new students last Friday is scheduled to start classes from Monday but applicants living in close proximity to the school are yet to receive admission to the school despite a Supreme Court order.

Students pondering over the future of their school career

Ananda College, Isipathana Vidyalaya and Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya too are some of the other Colombo schools which are yet to start Grade One classes. A parent who had admitted his son to Ananda College told The Sunday Times that he expected the classes to start next week.The final name list of Pannipitiya Dharmapala Vidyalaya is to be released on Monday and parents expressed their hopes of classes being started within the coming week. However, after many disputes, Kiribathgoda Vihara Maha Devi Balika VIdyalaya too had started admitting children to the school last week even though the parents are not sure when classes will start.

Richmond and Mahinda Colleges in Galle and Rahula College and Sujatha Vidyalaya in Matara are some of the other schools which have not begun Grade one admissions and this was a matter of concern to parents in those areas.

The parents of a child who was not admitted to Dambulla Primary School said the child’s father is a soldier stationed in Vakarai and the mother was a former soldier.“We are within 600 metres from the school. I wonder whether this is how they treat soldiers’ children; do they want my child to go to a school in Vakarai,” the child’s mother K.S. Abeysinghe said anxiously awaitng a solution to her problem from the government and the Defence Secretary.

A couple who had applied to a leading boys’ school in Galle told the Sunday Times that the family lived in Italy but came to Sri Lanka to admit their son to a Sri Lankan school with the idea of giving a proper education to the child but he was not selected to the school. “We even handed over the guardianship of the child to my husband’s brother who is living very close to the school. But the interview board said the circular doesn’t clarify how a situation as ours where the parents live abroad should be handled,” the child’s mother said.

However many parents are getting worried about the delay in starting Grade One classes, but the Education Ministry Secretary N. Bandara told the Sunday Times that according to past records, there have been instances where Grade One classes in a number of schools have started even in March.

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