Jan 10, Colombo: The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has asked the Ministry of Education to issue a report on its policy for admitting the Grade 5 Scholarship winners to the island's leading schools.
The HRC hearing the complaints lodged by the Teacher Principal Collective and the Parents Collective, has asked the Ministry to state the criteria used for admitting the students who passed the competitive examination.
Complaints lodged at the HRC say the rights of both parents and students were violated by the Ministry's decision to reduce the number of scholarship winners admitted to leading schools.
An education sector union also accused certain leading schools of closing their doors to the gifted students. Sri Lanka Teacher Services Union said that Richmond College of Galle and Rahula College of Matara for example, had no vacancies for Grade 6.
During the hearing, the General Secretary of Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU), Joseph Stalin said while there are approximately 30 popular schools in the country, they have reduced the intake of students who pass the scholarship examination and these schools do not accept most of the applications sent by Grade 5 scholarship winners.
The Director of Schools in the Ministry of Education and the principals of Ananda College of Colombo and Rahula College were also present at the hearing.
The Commissioner of the HRCSL, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa at the hearing said that measures will be taken to resolve the issue once the Commission receives the report on the admission policy from the Ministry.
The Parents Collective has vowed to take the complaints to the courts if the HRC fails to provide a solution.
Grade 5 Scholarship Examination is criticized for its highly competitive nature but it is the only way available to most of the intelligent but less privileged students to enter leading schools in the country.