The G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examination 2021, which was repeatedly postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, commenced at 3,844 centres Islandwide with 517,496 candidates sitting for it yesterday (23).

The examination began in 459 centres across the Southern Province, with 182 in the Galle District, 154 in the Matara District, and 123 in the Hambantota District.

The authorities responsible for the Southern Province said that steps have been taken to operate buses without causing any inconvenience to students sitting for the examination.

Amarasiri Piyadasa, the Central Provincial Director of Education, said that 69,357 candidates from the Central Province faced the examination this year, with 54,517 being school candidates and 14,840 being private candidates.

The examination was held at 517 examination centres in the Central Province, and it went off without a hitch on the first day, according to the Director of Education.

The examination was held at 33 examination centres in the Deniyaya Education Zone, and nearly 250 people, including principals and teachers, were stationed at the examination centres to monitor the examinations.

Pitabeddara, Morawaka, Alapaladeniya, Deniyaya, Kotapola, Beralapanathara, Urabokka, and Pasgoda are the eight coordinating centres established for the operation of the 33 examination centres, according to Deniyaya Zonal Director of Education H. Y. Dhammika.

Children were provided with public transportation to the examination centres, and most parents were seen bringing their children to the examination centres on motorcycles or in three-wheelers.

Despite the adverse weather conditions, students from the urban, rural, and estate areas under the jurisdiction of the Hatton and Nuwara Eliya Zonal Education Offices sat for the examination too.

The teachers who arrived for examination duties stated that the necessary vehicles were provided with the necessary fuel from the filling stations without delay. A number of SLTB and private buses have been added to the service for students taking the exam.

Some students arrived at the examination centres in private vehicles.

Sujatha Kulendran, the Batticaloa District Director of Education, in charge of Examinations, said that 17,238 candidates sat the examination in Batticaloa District yesterday. The district has 125 examination centres and 14 coordinating centres.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha said that all necessary preparations have been made for the successful conduct of the Examination.

He made these remarks yesterday (23) during a zoom discussion with the Provincial Governors at the Ministry of Education’s headquarters.

He noted that the preparation was made in consultation with the Police, Armed Forces, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation,
Sri Lanka Transport Board, Private Bus Associations, Railway Department, and other affiliated institutions.

Officials who are involved in examination duties, including teachers and principals, were promptly provided with the necessary facilities, such as fuel. The Minister thanked all of the relevant institutions for their assistance during this trying time. During the discussion, the Minister highlighted that the Ministry of Education will be fully committed to policy decisions in the future, leaving all responsibility for enrolling students in schools to the relevant provinces, and further discussed future policy decisions.

(By S. Deeyagahage (Ahangama), Farhan Nisamdeen (Galle), K. L. Suraweera (Kandy), C. D. H. Hewage (Watawala), Athawuda Pathirana (Urubokka), Neeta Pathma Kumari, Iranga Fernando (Moratuwa), T. L. Jawferkhan (Batticaloa))