Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Only in SL – 550,000 15&16 year olds twiddling their thumbs for 7 months!

The O level Exams are now on and I believe they conclude on Saturday, the 21st December. The results will be out in late March. 550,000 students are sitting these exams in three languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English. The average number of subjects offered by a student is 9. This is at the conclusion of 11 years of study at school, excluding Montessori. 

Only once the results are out can many students choose the school, and subject they wish to follow at A levels, so that they will only be admitted to these schools in June or July of 2014, unless their schools have an A level stream of their choice. (Only 600 schools in SL have an A level Science Stream and about 50 have teachers for the A level Technology stream.) 

What a travesty of Education? This is another example of the misery, and the oppression of Education in the state sector that our Students in Sri Lanka suffer from.

Parents who have money, will send their kids who are motivated to study to private Tutories to get a head start on the A level subjects they wish to follow, during this long break from school.

What happens to the Teachers? Do they just sit around at school, or go and teach for a fee at the Tutories? Whilst drawing a salary from the State School to which they are assigned?   

A study break at this stage in their education cycle is NOT a good thing. This will be the first long break from study that most students will have and as the Education system does not permit or encourage free thinking and creativity, so the Students (majority) have NO guidance in what to do during this very critical stage of their life and education.

I encourage ALL schools as a matter of practice to set up (with the assistance, financing and provision of teaching facilities from the Ministry to have an intense English of IT education program running for 6 months)

This is a perfect and only opportunity to really give 98% of the students who are very weak in both, the chance to get to an acceptable level of scholarship in these two fields, and intense learning might be the answer to prepare them fully before embarking on the arduous (university level) A level courses.     

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