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Banning private tuition in run-up to exams unfair by poor children - JVP

2013 Jul 03

by Dasun Edirisinghe

A vociferous JVP affiliated teacher trade union yesterday condemned the Education Ministry’s recent ban on the holding of seminars, public lectures, conferences and private tuition classes five days prior to the GCE (Advanced Level) and Grade V scholarship examinations.

General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe told The Island that the ministry’s decision would affect poor students who could not afford costly home-visiting tutors.

The Education Ministry last week issued a gazette notification banning the holding of seminars, public lectures, conferences and private classes, five days prior to the GCE Advanced Level and Grade Five Scholarship examinations with the threat that violators would be prosecuted.

Jayasinghe said that students, especially in rural areas, attended such mass seminars and lectures prior to the examination, whereas students of rich parents had the luxury of getting teachers to visit their home to tutor their children individually.

"We sent a letter to Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena asking for the cancellation of the latest gazette," he said.

The trade unionist said that the ministry took the hare brained decision as a solution to stop the leaking of GCE (Ordinary Level), GCE (Advanced Level) and Grade V scholarship examination papers that had become a regular occurrence

The leaking of question papers was a problem of the Examination Department, but innocent students had to now suffer for it, Jayasinghe said adding that banning seminars, lectures, conferences or private classes was not a solution to their internal problem.

He said that they would launch a joint campaign with other teacher trade unions if the ministry fails to withdraw the gazette soon.

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