Be fair when setting exam papers


Since the learning loss of students in 2020 was 54 per cent and by August 2021 it was 88 per cent, the Department of Examinations has been advised to prepare question papers in a manner that would not be unfair to students by the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA).

COPA paid special attention to the need to limit the scope of the syllabus applicable to the examination in a situation where it is not possible to cover the entire syllabus due to the limited school days. Otherwise, the committee pointed out, children as well as teachers would be under severe pressure.

The committee recommended that a policy decision be taken in this regard in coordination with the National Institute of Education, the Ministry of Education, and the Department of Examinations.

It was also revealed that due to the existing transportation difficulties, a system will be set up to temporarily enrol children at the nearest school and it is expected to be implemented until 31 December this year.

Officials from the Ministry of Education, the National Institute of Education, the Department of Examinations, the Department of Education Publications, and the University Grants Commission were summoned to this special COPA meeting.

Education Secretary M.N. Ranasinghe told COPA that the education sector as a whole has entered a very serious and complex situation and it is more difficult to manage the situation in the face of the economic crisis than the Covid situation.

The Secretary pointed out that the inability to cover the curriculum in the limited time available due to the inability to hold school on the scheduled days, the existing fuel shortage, the economic hardships of the children’s families, and the loss of jobs to the parents are becoming a serious problem. They pointed out that although teaching is done online, there are various difficulties in the rural areas and the long-term implementation of the online method in the learning process is not feasible.

The Secretary said the inadequacy of funds allocated to the Ministry in the face of present economic crisis is another major problem and that action should be taken to repurpose the funds of projects such as UNICEF, ADB, and World Bank which are to be received from other institutions other than government sources and to implement priority programmes.