Bleak education prospects for 339,000 students | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Bleak education prospects for 339,000 students

2 April, 2023

The Trade Union (TU) action taken by the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) and some school teachers not to take part in evaluating the answer scripts of the GCE Advanced Level (A/L)examination has jeopardised the education of hundreds of thousands of students.

The evaluation of the answer scripts has been delayed for one month and 10 days. About 1,400 university lecturers are needed for the purpose. They are required to prepare the marking system and train the participating teachers.

Except for a few retired university teachers, no university teachers have come forward to take part in the answer script evaluation work under FUTA’s and Ceylon Teachers’ Union’s (CTU) influence.

The number of students who sat the GCE Advanced examination in January 2023 is 339,000. It takes about six weeks to complete the paper marking process.

The number of teachers needed for this exercise is around 19,000. Despite calling for applications from last year, only 13,000 applications have been received so far.

As a result, the evaluation of answer sheets for Combined Mathematics, Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology could not begin.

The Education Ministry pays between Rs.150 – Rs 175 to mark an answer sheet. The Cabinet has also approved an increase in teachers’ and examiners’ daily allowance from Rs.1,450 to Rs.2,000. This was also one of the demands of the techers’ TUs. The issue revolves only around Sinhala and English medium teachers while the Tamil medium teachers have already begun paper marking. FUTA office-bearers have said that they will not participate in the evaluation of A/L answer scripts until a disciplinary investigation on the Vice Chancellor of the Ruhuna University is completed. Earlier they said that they refrained from paper-marking in opposition to the Government’s new tax policy. In these circumstances, it is expected that the parents will intervene to resolve the matter with FUTA and school teachers for the sake of their children’s future.