A circular, which permits principals of State Schools to admit international and private school students who had successfully completed their GCE O/L will be issued this week putting an end to the uncertainty and heated arguments on this matter, a Senior Education Ministry Source said yesterday.
This comes in the wake of a directive from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana directing him to issue the relevant circular as soon as possible after this matter was raised at last week’s cabinet meeting.
The source said ministers opposed to this move and those in support expressed their points of view at the meeting and requested President Rajapaksa to intervene in resolving this matter and put an end to the heartburn of thousands of parents and students long awaiting a positive response from the Education Ministry.
When on July 17 the Education Minister submitted the cabinet paper recommending that GCE O/L students be banned entry to government schools for their GCE A/L resulted in a huge protest from Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Basil Rajapaksa, Sarath Amunugama, Wimal Weerawansa and Keheliya Rambukwella.
They argued that to ban a section of the students from obtaining free education in the national education system was a violation of their fundamental rights and the violation of the constitution.
The source said the withdrawal of a circular prohibiting the admission of private school students to government schools for their GCE A/L did not arise because the Education Ministry had not issued such a circular in the first place.
Minister Gunawardana later withdrew the cabinet paper on the ban.
President Rajapaksa appointed a Cabinet Subcommittee to resolve this matter.
“President is keen to put an end to this controversy as soon as possible because of several complaints from a large number of parents saying principals of government schools have rejected applications for their children to do their GCE A/L after completing their GCE O/L at private schools,” he said. (Sandun A Jayasekera)