President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has granted permission to conduct tuition classes for 500 students in two time slots, President's Media Division said.
The decision was taken during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (29) to find solutions to issues faced by both students and teachers with the recommencing of tuition classes which had to be halted due to COVID – 19 pandemic.
The teachers pointed out the difficultly limiting the number of students to 250 where the average attendance is more than 1000. Reviewing the situation with the health authorities who were present, the permission was granted to conduct tuition classes for 500 students in two time slots.
Students in A/L and O/L classes lost the opportunity to pursue their studies for more than 5 months due to Easter Sunday Attacks in 2019 and COVID-19 global pandemic this year.
Students sitting for the Grade 5 Scholarship exam too face a similar situation. Considering these facts the tuition teachers requested the President to consider these facts and to explore the possibility of postponing relevant examinations.
President instructed the Minister of Education to re-consider exam dates after through consultation with teachers, students and parents.
On several occasions teachers, students and parents have pointed out that failure to cover the syllabuses due to closing down of schools in the wake of COVID -19. President advised the Commissioner of Examinations to increase the number of questions under a particular paper enabling students to have multiple choices.
The current Educational Service Tax stands at 24%. President also agreed to consider the request made by the tuition teachers to amend the percentage.
The President also approved the distribution of leaflets to promote tuition classes adhering to health guidelines.
The President's attention was drawn to the proposal by the Buddhist Advisory Council not to have tuition classes on Sunday mornings and on Full Moon Poya days.
The Teachers expressed their fullest consent to refrain from having tuition classes on Poya Days.
It was also decided to review the possibility of cancelling the holding of tuition classes on Sunday mornings which are limited for the GCE Advanced Level students.
The All Island Professional Educators ‘Association commended the President for his leadership in combating COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the progress of all sectors of the economy.
Minister DullasAlahapperuma, Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, N. H. M. Chithrananda, Health Secretary Major General (Retd.) Dr.SanjeewaMunasinghe, Commissioner General of Examinations, B. SanathPujitha, Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe and a group of representatives of several tuition classes’ associations were present during the discussion.