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UNP asks govt. to resume external degree courses

2013 Jul 10

By Dasun Edirisinghe

The UNP yesterday urged the government to resume external degree courses in Sri Lankan universities. The University Grants Commission (UGC) temporarily stopped the external degrees two years ago for subject revision.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the UGC issued a circular stopping the external degree courses on Oct. 15, 2010.

Attanayake was addressing a media conference at the National Estate Workers’ Union office in Rajagiriya.

Around 300,000 students sat the GCE (Advanced Level) annually and of them 140,000 obtained minimum qualifications to enter a university, but unfortunately Sri Lankan government universities could not accommodate all qualifiers, he said.

Attanayake said that others who could not enter a university had a system to obtain a degree as a external student of a state university or student of a private university.Since there were no private universities in Sri Lanka, poor students obtained degree qualifications by reading for an external degree, but now the government had blocked their right to have an external degree, he said.

The UNP MP said that they would accept the fact that subject streams and syllabi must be changed to meet today’s requirements, but it could have been done without stopping the programme.

Attanayake said that the real reason to stop external degrees was the government’s fear of producing more graduates in the country as it cannot provide jobs for all.

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