MixABS seeks higher CIMA accreditation
By Thushara Matthias

Strong reaction
Last week The Sunday Times FT ran an investigative story on business schools headlined "Business Schools - How good are they?"

The story spoke of the need for proper regulations to govern these business schools - some of which maintained decent standards while the others did not.

The story provoked a response from some top-of-the-market schools who said they maintain "high standards". However, most schools agreed there is a need for proper standards and monitoring.

Business school, ABS (Pvt) Ltd. is seeking a higher level of accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) of the United Kingdom.
The school has applied for the 'Quality Standards' level of CIMA accreditation, given its high pass rate of students and the continuous physical expansion of buildings and facilities.

"Although this level requires a minimum ratio of one teacher for every 25 students, CIMA Sri Lanka Division has assured us that they would take up the matter with the UK authorities," said Faris Ismail, lecturer and director of ABS.

A CIMA Sri Lanka Division spokesman said it would support ABS' application. The local branch of CIMA will point out to its parent body that in developing nations it is impossible to maintain such a small teacher/student ratio to cater to the increasing demand for the qualification and the ability of students to afford it.
Currently, all Sri Lankan institutes are slotted in the 'Threshold' or lowest level of the CIMA accreditation.

In order to guarantee the global reputation that the CIMA qualification enjoys, CIMA UK has an accreditation process of three levels for all tuition providers. Institutes that wish to be accredited must convince independent assessors from the UK that their courses are well organised and regularly reviewed.

It is also essential to prove that students are provided with adequate facilities and the staff is well trained and qualified. Schools would be rated according to how well they meet this criteria and be categorised in to either the 'Innovation' level which is the apex, the 'Quality Standards' level or the 'Threshold' level.

Thilan cleared in bribery case
The Bribery Commission last week dropped its asset investigation against former Board of Investment chairman Thilan Wijesinghe. It informed the Magistrate's Court that no evidence was found to conclude that Wijesinghe had accumulated assets through wrongful means.

Wijesinghe said that he was happy that the Bribery Commission had concluded that all his assets and deposits contained in bank accounts were accumulated from known and legitimate sources of income.

"This totally vindicates the position I took at the time I resigned as Chairman, BOI, that I was innocent of any wrongdoing and that I would clear my name through the appropriate channels," he said in a statement.

The investigation was initiated by the former Director General of the Bribery Commission, Rienzie Arsekularatne, who was subsequently removed from office by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The complaint alleged that Wijesinghe was not co-operating with an investigation into his bank accounts in relation to a complaint of bribery.

SLT-Bharti benefit two nations
Every businessman has a social responsibility to protect the rights of the consumer while making profits, says Minister of Mass Communications, Imitiaz Bakeer Marker.

"Under the free market economy the probability of violating the customers rights are high. It is important to protect their rights," he said at the signing of a partnership agreement between Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and Indian Telecommunication giant Bharti Telesonic to channel overseas traffic between two countries.

He said the SLT-Bharti deal could be described as the first step for a fruitful partnership which would channel 3 billion minutes of overseas traffic between the two countries directly. SLT chairman Thilanga Sumathipala said this is a new beginning as it will secure the future of the company and enhance profits for SLT.

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