Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GCE (A/L) results mess-up triggers public outcry - Teachers, students demand re-evaluation

The Island, 27/12/2011, by Dasun Edirisinghe A wide array of teachers, students, undergraduates and opposition political parties has been irked by what they call a mess-up of the GCE (A/L) results issued by the Examinations Department on Sunday night. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said that district ranks and countrywide ranks of the students of most districts could not be accepted as they were contradictory. As an example, he said, the District ranks of two students who had obtained B, B and C in the same subjects were 369 and 144. Their country ranks were 4,113 and 4,649. The district ranks of two other students with B, C and C in the same subjects were 278 and 405. "Those ranks were very contradictory and we want the results re-evaluated," Stalin said. Pointing out that according to the Examination Commissioner the results had been delayed due to an Z score related problem because the examination had been conducted under two different syllabuses, Stalin asked how the department had been able to release the results immediately after President Mahida Rajapaksa’s order to that effect. According to Stalin, Education Minister, Higher Education Minister, Examinations Department and University Grants Commission had issued very contradictory statements regarding the results. Addressing a media conference at the Kelaniya University, Inter University Students Federation demanded the cancellation of results and reevaluation of the answer scripts. He said that a student of Royal College who had sat the examination in Commerce Stream had received the results for Buddhist Civilization, European History and Sinhala. "According to our information, the Z–scores of students whose district ranks were 160 and 280, were higher than that of the student placed first in the district," Bandara said. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told The Island that this was due to the incompetency of the Examinations Department. Accusing the Commissioner General of Examination of being responsible for what he called a fiasco, the Kurunegala District MP said this was not the first time the present commissioner had messed up the results. "Examinations Department should have known two years ago that students who studied under two different syllabuses would sit the examination in 2011," he said adding they had to take precautionary measurers earlier to avoid university enrolment problems and results delays. Denying all allegations, Examination Commissioner General Anura Edirisinghe said that every year they issue the district ranks on a temporary basis and those rankings had nothing to do with university entrance. He said the district rankings would be revised but there would by no changes in the results and the Z score. Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said district rankings and island ranking had been messed up due to a technical error and they would be corrected. He said however, the results or Z score would not be changed.

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