This year’s Advanced Level examination was concluded on August 30. Almost a month has passed; the answer scripts are still bundled together and left in a corner. Anyone who has been subject to the minute horrors of national examinations would know that even a tiny delay of a few minutes could leave one desperate. Unfortunately, the university lecturers who were supposed to be on evaluation duty, are very much alien to the stark fact that the students who sat the examination this year, cannot forever be hanging on tenterhooks. Whether their ignorance is wilful or otherwise is another matter.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror on Saturday, Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said the FUTA members had been instructed to boycott the 2012 A/L evaluation meeting scheduled for today by the Examinations Department. Meanwhile, speaking to our sister paper, Lankadeepa, Commissioner General of Examinations, Jayantha Pushpakumara voiced the results could still be released on time, if the university teachers agreed to take up the evaluation of papers without further delay.
Ideally, the marking of papers was to begin on September 1. According to Mr. Pushpakumara it took a month and ten days to complete the primary evaluation process. It may be of little concern to the university teachers who have already passed their examinations and for the ministers who would not remember the examinations for which they sat; yet, the students have already lost one valuable month from their future.
Their hypocrisy of fighting for an unknown future while pushing the present students into an abyss could hardly be justified. No doubt, as products of free education, they have all the right to safeguard its existence and demand support for its improvement. On such grounds, the increase in GDP could hardly be called selfish. The question as to why the defence budget keeps touching the ceiling after the end of war seems valid. Yet, their struggle should not be one that yells out their personal demands, finely sugar-coated in the GDP increase, which gives it the appearance of a national movement.
After all, they cannot appear to be the guardians of free education while being the executors of its products.
This is no reality contest to choose the more unyielding of the two; for people have realised that one’s obduracy is not less than the other’s. It is not about who’s to be blamed first. It is about a child who is on the brink of adulthood, gazing at an empty tunnel called future.
Only, this child is not a minister’s kid, nor is he a child of a university teacher.