Sri Lanka tuition ban will hurt poorer students: lawmaker

June 18, 2010 (LBO) – A state decision to ‘ban’ tuition classes in Sri Lanka on Sundays will hurt poor families most as richer people will still be able to bring individual private tutors to their homes, an opposition lawmaker has warned. Police have already started to ‘raid’ cheaper mass tuition classes in rural areas like in the Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces, opposition United National Party lawmaker Mohan Lal Grero said.

Provincial Laws

In Sri Lanka provincial councils make their own laws. Officials have said they want students to attend religious ‘Sunday school’ instead of tuition classes. Tuition is also ‘banned’ on Poya days, a Buddhist religious holiday that is observed every month.

There is also confusion about what each provincial council will do. Some officials have said the law will not apply to students over 15 years of age. Others have said classes conducted after 2.00 p.m will not be ‘raided’.

Grero says students are going after private tuition because teaching quality of formal schools (which are mostly state-run) is poor, the syllabi is vast and a high school exam needed for university entrance, called advanced level, is too competitive.

To prepare students for high school, par