HRCSL probes alleged O/Level ban on 40 students
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is investigating allegations that some national schools in the Central Province are not allowing around 40 students to sity the Ordinary Level Examination in December, in a ploy to boost their performance ratings.
The investigation follows newspaper reportswhich claimed that some Central Province schools are urging parents to pull out their children from sitting the Ordinary Level examination on the grounds that they are not ready for it.
In an inquiry conducted on Friday, it was revealed that, in an effort to boost the image of their schools, principals and teachers in the Nuwara Eliya District were laying off students who performed poorly in school examinations.
HRCSL official Nihal Chandrasiri said the probe so far had revealed that school authorities in a move to show that the withdrawal of students from the exam was voluntary, had requested parents to inform them, in writing, that they did not want their children to sit for the O/Levels.
"This is a violation of the fundamental right to education," he said.
A Ceylon Teachers Union ( CTU) representative, who was present at the inquiry, said a random check by the Central Province Education Ministry's zonal office had revealed that the practice was widespread in the province.
"It has transpired that this has been happening since 2016 in schools in the Central Province," the union's General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, said.
This kind of move discourages students from continuing their studies and they often become dropouts. Parents, who are financially able, send their children for private tuition and make them sit the exams, he said.
"This must stop and the Education Ministry should take immediate action to penalise those who deny a student's right to education," he said.