Education circular to enroll students violated upon political intervention

Education circular to enroll students violated upon political intervention

Written by Staff Writer

07 Mar, 2020 | 9:44 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st):- The country’s education system is currently in a sorrowful state. The Supreme Court having to formulate the circular regarding admissions to schools in the year 2007, bears testament to this statement. Even then, the intervention of politics has led to several fundamental rights petitions being lodged at the Supreme Court.

An order handed down by the Supreme Court in the year 2012 after examining two such cases greatly contributed to the upliftment of the quality of education. The relevant order was, as of 2016 only a maximum of 35 children could be enrolled in a single Grade 1 class at any school. As soon as the order was handed down, the subject minister at the time presented a cabinet memorandum and obtained approval for the order to be implemented. A circular too was is issued in this regard.

However, the Yahapalana Government without any referral to the courts decided to postpone the 35 children per class rule to 2021. With the establishment of a new Government in November last year, the newly appointed subject minister made a statement claiming that the maximum number of children enrolled in a Grade 1 class would be increased to 40. While the minister said the opinion of the courts would be sought regarding this matter, it is evident that this decision hinders the quality and effectiveness of education.

The aforementioned decision was made to favour politicos and aides of various politicians in securing a place for their children at famous National Schools. According to a letter issued on the 26th of last month, the Director of National Schools has informed the Principal of Thurstan College, Colombo to enrol 8 students to grade 10 and 11. This letter, which is a stark violation of circulars has been further embellished with the heading, “enrolling students to play rugby”.

The reason which motivated the Director of National Schools to enrol these 8 students in particular to improve their rugby careers and the basis as to why Thurstan College was chosen, still remains a mystery. The Director of National Schools who issued this letter, very clearly giving into various affiliations was appointed the Secretary to the State Ministry of Education three days later. The former Director of National Schools was appointed to the position after being the Principal of Kingswood College Kandy, was not indeed a smooth transfer.

Breaching a circular is an unethical act. Moreover, providing an individual with a higher position 3 days after engaging in such an unethical act certainly does not help to uphold the discipline which is expected to be instilled in children through education.

Minister of Education, for your attention!!

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