Lower grades more eligible than higher grades to enter varsity
“A student who had only three simple passes, secured a district ranking of 15 and an island ranking of 422 in the Arts stream, will probably enter university, whereas students with three distinctions in the same stream, would not be eligible to enter the university,” stated a group of students who sat the 2011 Advanced Level (A/L) examination under the old syllabus, filing a rights plea in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, having heard their counsel, directed the Attorney General’s (AG’s) representative, Senior State Counsel Nerin Pulle to look into the possibilities of resolving the students’ grievances, and granted time till September 3, to do so.
Faisz Musthapha P.C., appearing for the respondent University Grants Commission (UGC), gave an undertaking that the UGC would not finalise university admissions until the Z-score issues were resolved.
Several counsel appearing on Thursday for nearly 400 students complained to the Supreme Court that the latest Z-score in respect of the 2011 A/L examination, issued by the Commissioner General of Examinations (CGE), had been wrongfully calculated in violation of the Supreme Court order.
They said the Supreme Court ordered the UGC and the CGE to calculate the Z-score of the candidates who sat the examination under the old and new syllabi, considering them as two distinct groups.
However, students who sat under the old syllabus complained although they had better grades, they had been pushed back in their District and Island rankings behind students who sat for the new syllabus and had got lesser grades. This, they claimed was a violation of their rights.
Counsel Saliya Pieris appearing for petitioner Chandani S. Kodikara of Nugegoda, told court that his client sat the A/L examination under the old syllabus in the Bio Science stream and had a district ranking of 119 and an island ranking of 399, securing enough Z-score to enter the Medical Faculty.
However, the counsel said according to the latest Z-score released on July 22, his client was not eligible for the Medical Faculty, because her district and island rankings were pushed back to 226 and 692 respectively.Earlier on Monday the Supreme Court granted leave for a group of 32 students to proceed with their rights pleas on similar issues.
These students too pointed out many discrepancies in the Z-Score and the related rankings re-issued for the third time on July 22, after the Supreme Court ruling.
In one such example cited, a candidate who sat under the new syllabus in the Bio Science stream had secured an island ranking of 673 with three Credit passes (Bs) while a candidate who sat under the old syllabus in the same stream, had secured an island ranking of 799 with three distinctions (As). Thus the island ranking was highly questionable, they alleged.
Petitioners stated that the respondents have once again failed to calculate the Z-scores, as well as the district and island rankings, properly, resulting in a large number of candidates failing to gain university admission, although their previous Z-scores were sufficient to gain university admission.
Petitioners also stated that they lost the opportunity of following diploma courses in other Government institutions, as their earlier Z-scores rendered them eligible for university admission.
Petitioners sought a court directive compelling the respondents to issue island and district rankings considering candidates who sat the examination under the new and old syllabi, as two distinct groups, and accordingly devise an appropriate and reasonable scheme for their admission to universities.Further proceedings were put off for August 30.
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