"Giving first place for A/L Arts ... to Lyceum student ... a conspiracy"
The first place was clinched this time by schoolgirl Senadi Damsa Alwis of Panadura Lyceum private school at the advanced level examination in the Arts stream. She in fact was the first female who achieved first place from a private school in Sri Lanka in advanced level.
The British Cambridge curriculum and the local curriculum is taught separately in some private schools in Sri Lanka and the students have the option of selecting the curriculum as they wish.Teaching the local curriculum in government, semi-government and international schools from some time.
Mr. Bandula Gunawardena, a former minister of education has expressed ideas saying that it is a problematic situation in bestowing first position to an Arts student of Lyceum private school. If opportunities are given for international schools of this nature, opportunities available to students of rural schools will be deprived of such a chance, the minister has quipped.
He has said the following at a media briefing held at Punchi Borella Vajirashrama: "The first death knell has been sounded by this government in closing doors with the onset of advanced level results. This then is a big conspiracy. When taken in connection with free education in Sri Lanka, from the day free education was launched, the the onset of a massive conspiracy which was active deeply underhandedly has dawned with G.C.E. advanced level results until past advanced level results were released.
It is published that first position of advanced level results in the Arts stream has been claimed by a schoolgirl of an international school for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka. For the first time in history, international schools have been compared with government schools. I am a former Education Minister. Before this there had been several education ministers. But results of international school students have not been mixed with exam results of children who comprise the bulk of the results of this entire country any day as such.
I challenge the education minister or examinations commissioner general or any other officer if there was an instance when international schools which are being run with money paid for the education of the entire children in this country with a commercial purpose in mind. Children of these international schools cannot sit for the examination. Children of international schools should appear for international examinations such as London O/L or London A/L examinations. Anybody in this country has the right to appear for an advanced level examination as a private applicant.
Results of private applicants and government applicants have been analysed by putting them on a similar level. If it is pointed out that the first in the Arts stream hails from private schools in Sri Lanka ... what a crime it is against free education? Children have a right to pay and study. We respect that right. But what is considered as 45 lakhs of children are those of government schools. It is to them that the public pay taxes. It is from among them that the first, second and third are chosen in the entire country. According to these results, students of international schools creep into advanced level classes in the English medium in a most shrewd manner. They gain admittance to faculties including the medical faculty and universities. All these things are operating in a clandestine manner.
According to the Education Act there is no right to combine free education which safeguards the country and a commercial business by putting together private applicants and government applicants. The education of this country is directed by the Fee Education Act. There is a particular Schools Act of 1961. It is in accordance with that the education ministers have worked. Education ministers and examination commissioners have worked according to the law. Even I can start something called an international school by putting up a board in a shed and registering it with the company registrar. Even you can start. Just because there is a clever child there, no one can say 'this is what is called education'. Does a national policy of a country decided that way?
A child cannot be admitted to a list in an international school. No such permission is given by the Ministry of Education. Nobody has gone to Supreme Court for such a matter. More than we can realise ... it is difficult to understand about the power of money ... the international mafia. It should be understood how the conspiracy of destroying free education is operating in the country.
They are using all strategies and methods. According to the special Schools Act referred to earlier, with reference to article 25 (1), when considering the law of Sri Lanka, only government schools are eligible for the curriculum recommended for primary students. No one else can. Competent educationists, intelligentia, professors and mentors should bring out a dialogue in this respect. When a conspiracy like this has emerged for the first time ... the roots of all this should be dug out and think about the fate that would befall the unconfounded child".