Govt. incompetency has demoralised students: Opposition Leader

Wednesday, 8 August 2012 01:09 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Our Lobby Correspondent

Highlighting the unfairness of the Z-score and reminding the House of its ability to force the Government to deliver an acceptable solution for students, Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe raised four questions yesterday in Parliament.

“It is the responsibility of us all to save our children from this situation. It is the duty of us all to apply pressure on the Government to rectify the injustice caused to these children. With that objective in mind, I seek answers to the following questions from the Minister of Higher Education,” he said, making a statement under Standing Order No. 23(2).

Separately and according to each faculty, what is the number of students qualified for admission to university based on the Z-score issued initially?

What is the number of students qualified for admission to university based on the Z-score issued following the Court decision?

What is the number of students qualified for the universities as per (1) above, but were disqualified under (2) above?

What are the steps to be followed to dispense justice to the students who have become so disqualified?

“We are aware that, owing to the improper and erroneous procedure followed over the Z-score issue, it has now created a multitude of complications. We initially requested to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee on this matter and resolve the problem, also with the assistance of all academics and experts. However, the Government failed to do it. Later certain parties brought this issue before the Court seeking justice. The Court made a ruling on the matter. Still, even subsequent to the delivery of the Court order, the relevant institutions acted in a malicious and lackadaisical manner. For this reason, some persons had even to make further explanations before the Court.

“Nevertheless, the most important factor to be taken into consideration among all these occurrences is that a grave injustice has been caused to a number of children who sat for the Advanced Level examination as a result of the continuous arbitrary actions on the part of the Government with regard to the Z-score. There appears no sign of reaching a practical solution to the matter. Therefore, the children have fallen out of the frying pan into the fire. Their future prospects are blurred. The hopes and confidence reposed on the free education and the examination system has been shattered,” added Wickremesinghe.

In response, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education stated that the Court order had delayed the officials from preparing the anticipated solution or revealing the statistics requested by the Leader of the Opposition.