Education Ministry conducts survey to decide A/L exam date | Sunday Observer

Education Ministry conducts survey to decide A/L exam date

The Education Ministry will conduct a survey from July 6 in 2,700 schools with Advanced Level students to decide whether the Advanced Level examination date is to be further delayed or not, Education State Ministry Secretary Ranjith Chandrasekara told the Sunday Observer.

There is a questionnaire on the website of the Education Ministry to get an idea as to whether or not to postpone the exam. However, the decision will be made on the survey, he said.

Individual preference

Anyone can mark individual preference about the postponing of the examination in the questionnaire until July 10. But, a conclusion has to be reached on the survey in the schools, he said.

Only 2,700 schools in the island conduct Advanced Level classes. When the schools start from tomorrow, the Education Ministry will get information on A/L students via Principals. A final decision is due to be taken on the survey, he said.

The survey will include finalising the postponement time, final date of the examination and decide on the extent of the syllabus covered by teachers. Everything will be decided from the students’ perspective. If the students are prepared, the examination could be held on September 7 as the Education Ministry has decided. Whether to postpone the exam by one week or two weeks or one month will be decided on the outcome of the islandwide A/L students’ survey.

Ministry Secretary Chandrasekara said although the people talk about the number of days the students have lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Education Ministry has decided to calculate the timing in hours instead of school days. Students have, however, missed around 296 hours due to the lockdown. We have given them 301 more school hours to cover their syllabus by postponing the exam date to September 7. Teachers agree to the exam date and only tuition masters have issues about the date, he said.

Different proposals

The State Ministry Secretary denied Ceylon Teachers’ Union Secretary Joseph Stalin’s claim that high officials have taken decisions on exams of students only in consultation with tuition masters. He said that there are nearly 245,000 teachers and 10,000 principals. It is impossible to seek opinions of all of them. The high officials had consulted provincial, district and zonal officials in the island when fixing the exam date as September 7.

“Advanced Level students need not worry about their exams,” he said.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had suggested to examination officials and other authorities in the Education Ministry to increase the number of questions in the second part of the question paper so as to give the students a wider choice to ease their burden. Examinations Commissioner B.Sanath Pujitha said that the proposal is under discussion. Education Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that he would announce the exam date within a week of reopening schools after considering the survey results.

Representatives of the All Island Professional Educators’ Association have met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently and proposed to postpone the GCE A/L examination. The President assured them that a decision will be arrived after discussions with teachers, parents and students.