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Editorial - The agony of Z- scores


24 July 2012 06:49 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By the looks of it, the initial blunder made by the Examinations Department officials has invited many more blunders in its lousy run to rectify the errors. The newly revised Z-scores show a drastic drop of district and island ranks of the students who sat the examination in 2011 under the old syllabus.

The injustice, coming in the eleventh hour, is hard to gulp down.

Taking lightly the expectations and inspirations of children and thereby thinking any patched-up business would restore sanity, has been proven the wrong method.  In fact, it is rather shameful that every time the Examinations Department officials fail to tell apart the tail from the head, the judiciary is called onto rescue the institution from disgrace and to pacify the students who were victimized by the annual calamity. At the rate the things are going, one would not be surprised if an extension of the department is established in  the vicinity of the courts premises for everybody’s convenience.

Meanwhile, the website of the Examination Department,, has posted a notice inviting the students to forward their last minute applications for the exam. The announcement itself looks as if it is a golden opportunity up for grabs. With the examination scheduled to start on August 6, those who need to re-sit may not be the reincarnations of Einstein, who can mug up things within a record time. Clearly, what seems to be like the nine-day grace period is not long enough to save the grace of the Examinations Department.

In fact, things would not have gone pear-shaped, had the two ministers in question, been humble enough to admit the grave blunder at the very beginning.  It would have saved a lot of time and a few degrees of dignity, the system up until then, had.
Be it a term end examination or one at the national level, the manner in which it is conducted and the process of releasing the results should not, at any rate, traumatize the students who sit for it. They should not be sacrificed at the altar of whims and nonsensicalities of the officials who are paid people’s money to maintain the smooth-run of the system.

Playing with the sentiments of the students should not be the way in which the ultimate authority of the country’s education operates.  The high heads who regulate the system will not have answers to the problems that are likely to arise with the predictable delay in university enrollments and its repercussions.

Though, granted free, education is not the personal property of anyone. It is for the benefit of the children of this country; this is the unchangeable fact, the high heads who do not reflect much education in their mien, need to keep in mind.

  Comments - 2

  • arjuna aluwihare Wednesday, 25 July 2012 09:43 AM

    I agree with the suggestion that all eligible for entry by both old and new calculations should be taken with univs using facilities, systems (internal and external/ distance) and industrial placement etc imaginatively but with quality. With staff cooperation this is possible and fair by the youth. At the same time teachers requests need solution by all (Ministry, UGC, VCs, CVCD, Senates, Unions) working together as they all have the same professed aims. Students unions must be cooperative (and incidentally stop ragging- which they can if they have the will to do so!)

    Upali Samarajeewa Thursday, 26 July 2012 10:50 AM

    Every year many places in the universities go unfilled due to the level of efficiency of the universities and the UGC in cooperating to allocate students to vacancies that arise due to selected students moving into better courses or opting to repeat the exam, or leave our university system. At least in a difficult situation like today it may be worth somebody paying attention to get all available positions filled. A review of number of unfilled vacancies during the last year would indicate the unutilized slots in the university courses

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