Apr 08, Colombo: The Ministry of Education has issued the Circular making the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination not compulsory, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says.
The Minister of Education has made this decision taking into consideration the recommendations of the Review Committee appointed to restructure the scholarship exam.
This committee consists of educators, child psychologists, specialists in pediatrics and other experts.
Grade 5 scholarship examination is conducted annually with the purpose of extending assistance to children of low income families and for admission to Central Colleges with more facilities. However, it has now deviated from the original purpose and become an examination seriously stressful to the children.
The child psychologists and educators believe that through the examination an unnecessary and artificial competiveness that damage the children's mind has been created ignoring the differences in individual student's development.
They have come to the conclusion that students of leading national schools are more pressured by the exams than children of low income families who ought to receive the scholarships.
Considering these facts, the circular 08/2019 has stated that in the future except for the students of low income families, the 5th Grade Scholarships examination is not compulsory and students should not be pressured by any means.
Accordingly, the students will be able to decide on their own or with the parent's consent whether they will sit for the exam.
When a student of Primary School, which ends with the 5th grade, did not sit for the Grade Five Scholarship examination, the Zonal Education Director has the power to provide a school for the student.
Additionally, the circular states that based on the results of the Grade Five Scholarship Examination, advertising campaigns such as poster banners should not be displayed to promote competition.
The circular states that when admitting students to the 6th grade, taking donations or any gifts except the approved fees such as facilities and services fee, school development society fees is strictly prohibited.
The Ministry of Education has taken these decisions based on the recommendations made by the Committee appointed by the education Minister to reform the scholarship examination considering the undue stress on the students. However, the Committee has not taken a final decision on the abolition of the exam.