Tuition and other problems of Education – and not only in the North

jaffna 2 captionBy Darshana Sanjeewa

The Secretary to the Ministry of Education of the Northern Province convened a meeting of Zonal Directors in the Jaffna District along with other Education Ministry officials to discuss possible improvements to educational services in the North. The meeting was held on the initiative of the Governor following reports by Professor Rajiva Wijesinha MP, Advisor on Reconciliation  to HE the President on matters that had been brought to his attention at Divisional Secretariat Reconciliation meetings he has attended during this year throughout the Province.

In addition to particular problems of the North, the meeting provided space to discuss the current situation of Sri Lankan Education as the quality of the school education is remarkably going down. Students are continuously facing poor teaching and  supervision as well as constant complaints from parents  about the quality of the examination papers set by Zonal offices. The creators of the examination papers have not been able to maintain the quality and the  consistency of the examinations which impacts on  schools not being able to accurately  assess their students’ performance at the end of the term  which should occur during their tenure in the schools. In any case, pupils seem generally to have almost lost their trust on the school education and they rely heavily  on tuition classes. One of the officials noted that this reliance also arose from schools having to only have single sessions, whereas double sessions as was the case in the past would help to discourage the prevailing tuition culture

However the biggest issue schools face today, especially in rural areas, is schools don’t have  sufficient teachers to teach the compulsory subject required to get them through the important examinations such as English, Maths, Science. Though much had been done on an initiative of the Governor to appoint sufficient teachers, there were still problems in rural areas because of distribution problems, which could not be monitored carefully. Continue reading

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