By Sandun A Jayasekera
The Cabinet that met on Monday has granted the approval to increase the number of National Schools to 1,000 from the current number of 373 on a Cabinet memo submitted by Education Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris, Cabinet spokesman, Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday.
Accordingly, the programme was being planned to be implemented in three phases and the Minister of Education presented a proposal to develop one selected Provincial Council school as a National School in each of the 123 Divisional Secretariat Divisions where there are no National schools at present, in the first phase.
“In the second phase, 673 schools selected on the basis of identified criteria qualified to be upgraded as National Schools will be further developed and existing 373 National Schools will be provided with further facilities under the third phase,” Minister Rambukwella added.
The criteria for upgrading of normal schools as National Schools comprise certain requirements such as that a National School must have a minimum student population of 2,000 or more in its roll and the school should have a well-established collegiate section with a sufficient number of students in the Science Arts and Commerce streams.
The GCE A/L results of the school should indicate a reasonable academic standard. The buildings, furniture, equipment, and other facilities should match the numbers of students in particular school. The school should be also in a position to obtain adequate financial support from the School Development Society, Past Pupils’ Association and other sources in the community. The school should have been generally accepted by the community as one of the best in the region was said to be another criterion.