Grade One 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 official sanction.

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 over.

Top   Back to News

Copyright © 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.