School teachers raised concerns about political appointments made to positions within the education sector including to the Department of Examinations which education trade unions argued was detrimental to the purpose of ensuring the quality standards of education.

In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding the alleged leak of questions pertaining to the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level examination chemistry paper, the Ceylon Teachers Services Union (CTSU) and the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) urged the Government’s Ministry of Education to refrain from engaging in futile endeavours such as banning tuition conferences, discussions and workshops and other such activities a week prior to the examination.

General Secretary of the CTSU, Mahinda Jayasinghe     said that not only the Criminal Investigation Department but the Department of Examinations should conduct an inquiry into the matter and reveal the findings to the public. Furthermore, stern action including strict legal action should be taken against the offenders who are found guilty of such.
Hall examiners and observers are primarily political appointees and they are ill qualified for the task, and are found wanting in terms of knowledge and are inexperienced, he explained, adding that qualified, skilled and experienced persons should be appointed instead.

“There are several serious issues which arise as a result of this latest situation. The main one is concerned with the trust placed on the secrecy and standards of quality of State and Governmental examinations. The Ministry should arrest the decline that is prevalent across the board in general as far as education was concerned,” Jayasinghe noted, while General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin added that what the Ministry should instead do is to “minimize their faults and work on closing the loopholes”. RLJ