UGC wants SC to clarify
June 27, 2012
Plunging the Z-score fiasco into further confusion, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Gamini Samaranayake said yesterday that the UGC would seek a clarification from the Supreme Court as there were some ‘gray areas’ in Monday’s ruling.

A three judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on Monday delivering the ruling on the Fundamental Rights petition filed We have no reason to delay the results now. It will be released without further delay by the Ceylon Teachers’ Union and 16 students who had sat the GCE A/L Examination in August 2011, and declared the Z-scores null and void and ordered the UGC to prepare fresh Zscores separately under the new and old syllabuses. “We accept the ruling of the Supreme Court. But there are a few gray areas and therefore we are consulting out lawyers and expect to go to the Supreme Court for a clarification within the next few days,” said Prof. Samaranayake at a hastily called media briefing last afternoon.

“The methodology of calculation of the Z-scores was worked out by an elite panel of five professors; and the calculations were carried out by the Examinations Department. But no mention has been made in the Supreme Court ruling as to who should made the new calculations, in two tiers, according to the old and new syllabuses,” said Prof. Samaranayake.

However, when pressed for an answer, Prof. Samaranayake repeatedly refused to pinpoint the person who had blundered and brought the free education system in the country to a new low. Prof. Samaranayake hinted that the wrong calculation of the Z-scores had occurred at the Examinations Department as the department personnel had not followed the procedures laid down by the UGC when they made the calculations.

Higher Education Minister S.B.Dissanayake said the request for a clarification was not a counter petition against the Supreme Court ruling but only a request to enlighten the UGC on the issue. “We make every possible effort to complete university enrolment in October come what may. We are positive that we can sort out the existing issues, including the calculation of Z-scores and the Island and District rankings by then,” said Mr. Dissanayake. Prof. Sanath Kulatunga, who is one of the members of the panel that prepared the Z-score methodology, said the aim of the panel was to minimise the ‘Level of Difficulty’ and prevent any injustice to students who had sat the exam according to either of the two syllabuses. “Unfortunately, the methodology has not been adhered to in the calculation of the Z-scores,” he said. He admitted that it was not possible to have a 100% perfect methodology for calculating the Z-scores.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka