Underprivileged Grade 5 scholarship winners face uncertainty
Dec 5, 2013

Politically sponsored admissions of schoolchildren have sharply reduced classroom space for Grade 5 scholarship winners from remote areas to enter leading schools such as Royal College, Vishaka Vidyalaya and Nalanda College in Colombo and Dharmaraja College in Kandy, a report said.

The report compiled by a group of key officials of the Education Ministry to be submitted to Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane says primary section classrooms in popular schools have been filled with students admitted on the influence of politicians and powerful individuals.

It is reported that the number of students in some classrooms are as high as 54 or 56 despite the maximum number of students admitted to each class being 45. Therefore, the ministry is in a dilemma in accommodating students who passed the Grade 5 scholarship examination from underprivileged schools. According to reports, only 148 students can be admitted to Royal College in Colombo this year based on scholarship exam results whereas this number was 180 last year. This figure at Vishaka Vidyalaya, Colombo is likely to be only 99 this year against the number of 135 students admitted last year.

Not even a single student may be admitted to Dharmaraja College in Kandy while Kingswood College has only 27 slots for grade 5 scholarship qualifiers.

Rahula College, Matara will have only 17 slots while Isipathana Vidyalaya in Colombo will have only 12 slots. Nalanda Vidyalaya in Colombo has the capacity to admit only 93 students against the number of 135 students admitted last year.

The Education Ministry is now looking for alternative arrangements at these schools to accommodate as many students as possible.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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