Parents of children who have been victimized by not being allowed by schools to sit for public examinations owing to poor results at term tests conducted by schools are presently in discussions with education sector trade unions in relation to taking action including legal action regarding such.
The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) explained that there were many schools which engaged in such, pointing out to an instance this year when a school for Tamil children in Dumbara, Haputale in the Badulla District, had not allowed six students to sit for the grade five and year five scholarship examination because the said students had allegedly not obtained the requisite marks as results at the term tests.
According to General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin, the same had been done in other schools with regard to the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level examination, where students had been failed at term tests. The Ceylon Teachers Services Union (CTSU) too acknowledged the same. Stalin further claimed that in 2016 although they had reported many such incidents to the Commissioner General of Examinations, no action had been taken in this regard.
“Passing examinations is the criterion used to judge the level and standard of education offered by the schools. This is how principals increase their pass percentage. However, the human rights of the children are violated. This is a wrong measurement. This must be separately inquired into and addressed. The teachers and principals of such schools inform the parents of the children that their children would be presented or put forward at the next such examination,” he explained. Meanwhile, General Secretary of the CTSU, Mahinda Jayasinghe called for a programme to be implemented in schools with the view of uplifting the standards of education and to bring underperforming children up to the requisite mark. He pointed out that in certain cases when children were not allowed to sit for examinations, especially ones like the scholarship examination, such could affect the future of the particular child adversely and impact them negatively.