Education Ministry initiates probe

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By Kanchana Kolagolla and Tharaka Samman

The Ministry of Education has initiated investigations into reports being circulated on media in connection with students sitting the GCE O/L examination at Thakshila Maha Vidyalaya, Gampaha, taking shelter under umbrellas during the downpour on 31 May as the roof of the said examination centre had been leaking.

Commissioner General of Examinations L.M.D. Dharmasena confirmed that an incident of that nature had occurred.

The Ministry of Education is conducting inquiries into the selection of the examination centre in question and the failure to take prompt action to shift the candidates to another suitable location due to the inclement weather prevailing at the time as well as the ‘leaking condition’ of the centre; failure to report the matter to the Department of Examinations and take remedial action to prevent such incidents in the future.

Furthermore, the report of the Department of Examinations states that ‘relief’ would be granted to the affected candidates considering their plight while sitting for a competitive examination.

When contacted, Assistant Principal of the Thakshila Maha Vidyalaya Gampaha, H.B.M. Rajapaksha, said the roof of the examination hall had been in a damaged state so much so that rain water could easily seep through thus inconveniencing the students.

He also said this has been happening during normal school days as well.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) says that using a building that does not conform to accepted norms and standards is a violation of the human rights of the candidates. One of its directors said the school will be investigated and an inquiry will be held into the said incident.