I blogged yesterday, over the absurdity both of the Grade 5 exam and the District Quota system, to enter students into schools and then onto entrance into the State University system, as neither achieve their stated purpose.
As part of that challenge, I put down the gauntlet by taking the top 6 State boys schools in Colombo, and challenge the Education authorities and the respective schools into disproving my hypotheses. The parents and future parents of kids to these schools can then make an objective assessment of whether they really want to go through the expense of entering their kids if other routes fail into these schools. I understand the Grade 1 entrance into Royal is 10, Ananda 10, Nalanda and Thurston 8, Issipathana and DS around 5. (Lakhs bribe that is sometimes that still does not achieve the end! )
Today, Sunday 12th January 2014. The A level exams are in August 2014. There are 1,500 students sitting from these 6 schools. 1,300 of them are attending private tuition classes, and tomorrow a school day, only 1000 will be at school, the rest at further tuition classes. This is the state of play of our kids today! The schools either don’t have or the students don’t believe they have sufficiently good teachers to teach them their subjects, preferring the A level crammers to give them the edge to get a better grade.
It would be a good test case to get the exact accurate figures from which better management decisions can be made as to the real state of education in Sri Lanka today, and make better arrangements for the benefit of the students as after all they are the product that is being manufactured out of this factory!
Please remember that 3 As from Royal will not be sufficient for some students to get admittance into the University system owing to the much tougher Z score that is required from the Colombo District. So what is all this education, and school entrance competition all about?
Parents maintain that these schools offer the best chance for their kids in employment even if they do not enter university. Further they maintain that the facilities these schools have far exceed those of other schools and give their kids the best chance possible to excel in some extra-curricular activity such as debating or cricket! You make your choice they have the facilities!
The ability to interact with students at this level they maintain give them the edge in making contacts with people who have the best chance of rising to the top of their respective fields, be it in business or politics or academia and will help their offspring to benefit from these life-long friendships. If that is SO! Then no matter what the Govt. does with its 1000 schools program to promote the National schools to a higher level, they will never be able to achieve parity with these aforementioned schools, as they will just surge ahead no matter what. It is all about perception, and that is what drives demand, not matter what the reality is.