English, Governance

New School admisssion rules – for whom?

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka gave its judgment on new admission on year one students to schools. All Sri Lankan should rationally concern about this. It creates some problems and doubts about impartiality and credibility.

Recent decades the admission on year one students to schools created an unpleasant and troublesome situation in the society. Every year more than three lacks of students seek school admission for schools. Last year it was more than three and half lacks. From these students only twenty five thousand get the admission for popular schools. The situation and the struggle easily compared to a horse race.

Education is the best investment for the parents, children and the family. Majority of Sri Lankan have a good impression about this. Unfortunately it developed to a competition. The parents in the village don’t like to send their children to village school. (game pasela) It doesn’t have enough man power and adequate material resources. The elite class wants to send their children to international schools.

As a result of this illegal deed, Illegal documents, give and take of bribes, fraud and lyre occurred. Parents and children suffer. Principles, teachers’ authorities of education and politicians get benefits. The longer term consequence is Sri Lankan society turn bad to worse. Some authorities who understand the problem presented it to the country’s highest court. Few days ago it gave its judgment.

According to new rules introduced by the Supreme Court every school appoints an Interview committee to select the suitable students. It will comprises of two members from the older pupils association, two teachers from school development society or two older students not members of older pupils association, representative of the principle and the representative of the director of the regional educational office. The principal of the school will not a member of the committee. This seems to be fair. But we should not forget that there will be two representatives’ behalf of the principal. Is it impartial? What is the basis for selecting older students? Who is responsible for the credibility of two teachers selected to the committee?

The committee will give marks to students. Fifty marks will be given to the Child’s competence. This is good because intelligence rate is high during the childhood period. Other fifty marks goes to the background of parents. This creates problems and doubts. Is this a decision tried to give the best apple to the parents who are involved in high professions? How many doctors, lawyer, engineers and accountants are in the country? What happen to the children of poor fishermen, farmers, garment factory workers and army soldiers? In Sri Lanka how many parents get through O/L and A/L examinations? This is directly unfair. It is an attempt to nutrition the elite class.

New rules of year one student’s admission to schools are very troublesome. This topic should be concerned by every Sri Lankan. If not it questioned the credibility of free education and right to education ensured by Universal declaration of Human Rights and UN convention on child rights. We should remember that Sri Lanka is a state party to the both of these conventions.

Harshi Chitrangi Perera
(Law Student)