Prepare question papers in a fair manner for students | Sunday Observer
COPA tells Department of Examinations:

Prepare question papers in a fair manner for students

19 June, 2022

The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) has stressed the need for the Department of Examinations to prepare question papers in a manner that would not be unfair for students as the learning loss of students was 88 percent by August 2021.

It was revealed at the Committee on Public Accounts that the learning loss of students in 2020 was 54 percent and by August 2021 it was 88 percent.

Education Ministry Secretary M.N. Ranasinghe said that being unable to cover the curriculum in the time available due to the inability to hold school sessions on the scheduled days, the fuel shortage, the economic hardships of the children’s families and the loss of jobs to the parents are becoming a serious problem. He was addressing a meeting of the COPA chaired by Prof. Tissa Vitarana to examine the future educational plans to be implemented and measures taken to overcome the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis on the education system of Sri Lanka.

The officials said that although teaching is done via online technology, there are difficulties in rural areas and the long-term implementation of the online method in the learning process has not been successful.

The Committee also paid special attention to the need to limit the scope of the syllabus applicable to the examination in a situation where it is not possible to cover the syllabus due to the limited number of school days. Otherwise, the Committee said, children and teachers would be under severe pressure.

The Education Ministry Secretary said that the education sector as a whole has entered a very serious and complex process and it is more difficult to manage the situation in the face of the economic crisis than the Covid-19.

Officials of the Ministry of Education, the National Institute of Education, the Department of Examinations, the Department of Education Publications and the University Grants Commission were summoned to this meeting.

The Secretary said that the inadequacy of funds allocated to the Ministry due to the current economic crisis is another major problem and that action should be taken to repurpose the funds of projects such as UNICEF, ADB and the World Bank which are to be received from other institutions other than Government sources and to implement priority programs.

The Committee recommended that a policy decision be taken in this regard in coordination with the National Institute of Education, the Ministry of Education and the Department of Examinations.

It was also revealed that due to the transportation difficulties, a system will be set up to temporarily attach children to the nearest school and it is expected to be implemented till December 31 this year.

The Committee commended the Commissioner General of Examinations and all other officials for conducting the national examinations, including the GCE Ordinary Level, in a proper manner despite all the difficulties.

The Committee also commended the education authorities, including all teachers, for their efforts in maintaining the education sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the prevailing economic crisis.

The problems in the university system during this crisis situation were also discussed.

As a result of the difficulties, such as fuel and gas shortages, students are being called to universities only for practical tests and lectures are being conducted online, officials said.

The Committee recommended to the University Grants Commission that the World Bank-funded USD 100 million project be reconsidered and put to good use in view of the ongoing crisis.

MPs Dayasiri Jayasekara, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Mohamed Muzammil,Tissa Attanayake, Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Sivagnanam Sritharan, Prasanna Ranaweera, (Dr.) Harini Amarasuriya,Weerasumana Weerasinghe and (Dr.) Upul Galappaththi were present.