Fri, 18 Jun 2021 Today's Paper

Abolition of Grade V Scholarship Exam a wolf in sheep’s clothing

25 December 2013 03:37 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A






I entered Ananda College after sitting for an entrance examination, conducted by the school authorities. That was at the end of 1953.  At that stage Ananda College was an assisted school run by the BTS. Many children of the rural middle classes entered the reputed Colombo schools in this manner. This showed the expanding social mobility in the capitalist society. Slowly but steadily feudal structures of the old society were breaking down. Free education was a strong ladder used by the rural middle class for social climbing. Even under the British, feudal practices made men and women prisoners of the geographical and social conditions they were born into.

Capitalism, though introduced by western imperialism liberated masses from that servitude, even though the break happened as a brutal wrench which created its own particular miseries and discontents. In this contradictory development free education played a special role in this country.

In 1962 with so many schools that were taken over by the state Ananda College became a state school though it kept the Sinhala Buddhist form and traditions of its past. After the school takeover, the entrance exam for the 6th standard for all reputed government schools became the Grade 5 scholarship examination. Thus the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam has played a socially-progressive and politically-radical role as a key enabler of inter-generational social-mobility. The Scholarship Exam was one of the few ways in which capable children from underprivileged or rural backgrounds could take the first critical step towards upper classes. It enabled the clever children of each generation to gain admission to well-facilitated national schools. This gateway to a better education provided a much needed facade of equalisation of opportunities.

The Scholarship Exam imposed a measure of plurality on ‘top-grade’ national schools by preventing them from becoming the exclusive preserve of children from affluent backgrounds. However, in spite of free education class, religious, and language separation remained a major problem in the Lankan education system. The Scholarship exam marginally reduced class separation in our top public educational establishments by making it compulsory for them to admit clever students from less-privileged schools every year. Without that opening, many a talented student may never have escaped the social barrier in this underdeveloped society. If so the country would have been poorer without the utilisation of their intelligence and capacities. All that will change with the abolishing of the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam. This sudden blow at the educational welfare in the country was carried out with the bogus claim that the Exam was a violation of children’s rights. This hoodwinking will be second only to the claim of the regime that the war against Tamil rebellion was a ‘humanitarian operation with zero civilian casualties’. Ridiculously, the abolishing of Grade 5 Scholarship Exam is presented as a student-friendly measure. For several months before this criminal act, various government politicos and officials lamented about the pressure imposed on students by the exam. Now, one of the most socially retrogressive measures ever considered by a Lankan regime is being presented as a social benefit motivated by loving kindness. It is the ‘Humanitarian Operation’ all over again!

Already the national schools are being stuffed to the brim with children from families with money, connections or both. After all, the fascist-styled regime needs to reward its chauvinist activists for their loyalty. Placements in top schools for their offspring would figure high in the list of rewards desired by these activists. The Scholarship Exam is the only remaining obstacle impeding the transformation of national schools into exclusive preserves for children of well-to-do/well-connected families. Once that is abolished, all placements in top national schools can be made available to the children of the new elite. If this political process is allowed to continue, in the new state configuration that will come into being, divides of every sort will be enhanced.  It will be a fascistic hell where, politics will become the only path of advancement available. One’s political affiliations will determine one’s economic prospects, social state and the future of one’s children. Fortunately people are fighting back. Already trade unions have taken counter steps. The Opposition is coming together to fight back not only on this issue but on all undemocratic steps taken by the government. In this Christmas, people have to realise if humble Jesus could fight back against the reaction backed by the Roman Empire, the struggle for justice against the Mahinda regime is not impossible.
See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 0

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment


Statistical blunders expose administrative weaknesses

Information helps save lives and during a pandemic a free-flow of vital, accu

Vavuniya tusker’s demise DID TOO MANY ‘COOKS’ SPOIL JUMBO’S RECOVERY?

On June 11 Sri Lanka lost another one of its magnificent tuskers that succumb

Life and Times of Dynamic “Thamby” Arumugan Thondaman

Thamby”in Tamil means younger brother. It is also used widely as a pet name



See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.