Parents have one hurdle less in putting children into primary school
Both house owners and ‘second occupants’ will get equal number of points under residence category
By Isuri Kaviratne

In the past, the first occupant or owner of a house had an advantage when applying for Grade One place for their child at a government primary school situated in the vicinity of their homes. They scored more points than parents in the “second occupant category” – house occupants who were not the house owners.

This distinction has been eliminated in the latest 2010 circular from the Ministry of Education.
According to Education Ministry secretary Nimal Bandara, the Grade One Admissions circular for 2010, to be released on Thursday, May 28, gives all applicants under the residence category equal status as “first occupants”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bandara said applicants who were unable to present documents to prove residence could produce a letter from the “grama sewaka”, attesting to their residence.

Sources said they were concerned that this change in the points system could lead to abuse. They said corruption could arise if only a grama sewaka’s letter was required in documents to support an application.

Mr. Bandara said the Elections Commissioner’s Department has forwarded copies of all electoral lists for schools to refer to in their Grade One admissions interviews.

The following are the criteria for admission to Grade One in government schools in the 2009 circular from the Ministry of Education:

Residence Category – 50 per cent

Residence confirmed on electoral list – maximum 35 points;

1st occupant – 35 points; 2nd occupant – 25 points

Proximity to school: A maximum 50 points if applicant can prove there are no other primary schools between his/her residence and the school being applied to; if there are any such schools, 10 points will be deducted for each such school.

Proof of residence: Title deed, 10 points; lease agreement/government quarters, 5 points; unregistered lease agreement, 2 points.

Other documentation: National Identity Card/ electricity bills, etc. – max. 5 points

Past pupil category – 25 per cent

For period applicant spent as a student at school being applied to –max. 26 points; applicant’s academic achievements – max. 37 points; extra-curricular activities/achievements; membership of Past Pupils’ Association, contributions to school – max. 37 points

Sibling category – 15 per cent

Points given with reference to one brother/sister studying in the same school, 4 points per grade – max. 40 points. Residence – max. 15 points: 1st occupant – 15 points; 2nd occupant – 10 points
Proximity to school – max. 35 points

If there no primary education schools between applicant’s residence and school being applied to, max. 35 points; if such schools are available, 5 points to be deducted per school.

Documents showing proof of residence – max. 10 points

Title deed, 10 points; lease agreement/government quarters, 6 points; unregistered lease agreement, 4 points.

Employees of institutions directly affiliated to school education – 5 per cent

Period of employment – max. 20 points (1 point for each year)

Distance from residence to workplace – max. 40 points

Period of working in a rural school – 15 points

Leave not taken – max. 20 points

If applicant’s parent is employed in school being applied to – max. 5 points

Employees of banks/government statutory/departments who have been transferred on employer’s request – 4 per cent

Distance between previous workplace and present workplace – max. 40 points

Proximity to school from residence after transfer – max. 35 points

If there are any primary schools situated between applicant’s residence and school being applied to, max. 35 points. If there are any such schools, 5 points per school will be deducted; rank / position of applicant – max. 25 points

Applicants returning from overseas – 1 per cent

Period spent abroad – max. 25 points; nature of migration – max. 40 points; proximity to school – max. 35 points;

If there no primary education schools between residence and school, max. 35 points. If there are any such schools, 5 points per school to be deducted per school.

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