Asian medalist Sriyani Kulawansa embroiled in degree dispute

30 September 2018 08:46 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Asian medalist and International acclaimed athlete Sriyani Kulawansa has been enrolled to the Health and Physical Education (BEd) degree at the National Institute of Education (NIE) ignoring the routine enrollment procedures Daily Mirror learned.

The three year course which was suspended for some time had been re-launched last year and the lectures were started on November 24, 2017.

According to sources Ms. Kulawansa has applied for the said degree after the enrollments were closed.

When contacted, NIE Director General Dr. Jayanthi Gunasekara acknowledged that Mrs. Kulawansa’s application was submitted after the deadline and since she was a national athlete her application was directed NIE Council for consideration.

“The council after the evaluation procedures, instructed me to change the existing regulations and enroll Ms Kulawansa for the course. I have sought the permission of both the Education Minister and the Secretary over the matter. I do not wish to elaborate further as I have followed the proper procedures,” she said.

According to the NIE sources, Ms. Kulawansa had not sat for the entrance examination or the physical fitness examination prior to the commencement of course. She was enrolled at the NIE under the recommendations made by the NIE council considering her contributions to  the country.

Ms. Kulawansa had attended the lectures over the weekend after she was informed by the NIE to do so on Friday.

However, the students who are following this course had protested against the move, stating that it’s a violation of course regulations.

“We admit that she is a prominent athlete. Due to late enrollment she will not be able to complete 80 percent attendance. Though she is a medalist special concessions cannot be granted. All the students should be treated equally,” a concerned student who wanted to remain anonymous said.

According to our sources, the students were told by the NIE officials to welcome Ms. Kulawansa or leave the class if they oppose the decision.

They had left the class room after the decision.

Commenting over the matter Ms. Kulawansa said that she applied for the degree following the Education Ministry informed her to do so.

“On the instruction of the Ministry I applied for the course. I submitted my application on May 2017 and attended the class this Friday. I do not have any issue over the matter,” she said.

Sriyani Kulawansa has represented Sri Lanka at three Olympics (1992, 1996 and 2000) and is a Asian and Commonwealth Games medalist. Born in Mar 01, 1970 she is currently the holder of the Sri Lanka record in 100 m Hurdles event. She was also elected uncontested as President of the Sri Lanka Olympians (SLO) last year.

Meanwhile, commenting over the matter Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General-Secretary Jospeh Stalin said that Ms. Kulawansa has been accommodated for this course due to political influence.

He said that she could have bestowed with a honourary doctorate considering her commitment to the field of athletics and her achievements. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)

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  Comments - 7

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  • Cobra Sunday, 30 September 2018 08:57 PM

    To what degree?

    Ceylon Sunday, 30 September 2018 09:15 PM

    all thanks for the high sports achievements.but that's not a qualification for educationa.this is cheating.why this highly talented sportswoman became so cheap to cheat education???.follow the rules.what a shame for herself to cheat education and violate rules.these are personel low qualities of most srilankan sportsmen/wemen,artists etc.start your education by follow the rules.don't become a fake graduate.

    S.P.Ramkumar Sunday, 30 September 2018 09:20 PM

    She should have to allowed to final year, Because she have all eligibility. Students cannot decide another student's eligibility. She is grate assets for forth comming international games.

    Observer Sunday, 30 September 2018 10:00 PM

    Or, is it because of the "jealousy" factor prevalent among the present generation in this country?

    Lord Wolfstein Monday, 01 October 2018 10:29 AM

    High-performance athletes are promoted in almost all countries, even in this way. What have the other students done for the country? Nothing at all. They should focus on their studies and not be so jealous. Jealousy is a bad character trait especially found in Sri Lanka.

    ghostlanka Monday, 01 October 2018 11:13 AM

    EDUCATION IS FOR ALL RICH OR POOR, PRIVATE OR PUBLIC. People should talk about how Namal Baby passed????

    Chandrathilaka Friday, 05 October 2018 02:34 PM

    She should be granted this opportunity. As she is a assert to the country. At the same time it is good if she attend the lectures and do the exam as other students. creating such crisis in the system is a mess. And shame for the country as whole. The present generation becoming more selfish and no respect to the people should be honner.


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