admissions: Now dispute brewing between past pupils and Ministry
A dispute is growing between the Education Ministry
and the Old Boy’s/Girl’s Associations of several leading
National Schools over the alleged move by the Government to cut
down on the quota for Grade One admissions for next year for those
in the past pupils and brother/sister categories.
Even though Education Minister Susil Premajayantha
denied there was any such proposal contained in the draft on a new
school admission policy, in a petition addressed to President Mahinda
Rajapaksa and signed by members of past pupils associations of several
leading schools, they claim that they have information of such a
move being contemplated.
The Associations claim that the move is to cut
down on the quota for these two categories and increase the quota
for Provincial Councils so as to facilitate more admissions for
PC members’ children.
Minister Premajayantha said he was unaware of
any move to increase the quota for the Provincial Councillors but
said if there was any such effort he would oppose it.
“If there is such a thing, I am totally
against it,” the Minister told The Sunday Times.
Ananda College OBA president M.G. Punchihewa,
one of the signatories to the petition said they had learnt of the
move to reduce the quota through “unofficial sources”
and said they wanted to act promptly before such a move received
Education Ministry Secretary Ariyaratna Hewage
said the Ministry was in the process of formulating a new school
admissions policy and said as it had not been finalized yet, the
details could not be disclosed.
On a provincial level, there has already been
a reduction in the quota for the old students’ category. Western
Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray said the 10 per cent reduction
has been added to the quota for Original Occupants at provincial
level but no such policy had been adopted so far at national level.
The past pupils say that instead of reducing the
number of students admitted under these two categories, a higher
percentage should be reserved for past students’ offspring
as the OBAs, OGAs and School Development Societies make an immense
contribution to enhance and maintain facilities of these schools.
The past pupils have also appealed to the President to direct the
National Education Commission to recommence the studies carried
out with a view to preparing a national policy in schools admissions,
which entails a change from the present proximity rule to a modern
concept of random sampling which is an accepted policy the world