Sri Lanka ‘free’ education crisis worsens: report

Apr 26, 2010 (LBO) – A crisis in Sri Lanka’s state-run ‘free’ education system funded by people’s taxes has worsened with 47 percent of students failing a key junior high school test leaving them stranded with no prospects, a report said. At Sri Lanka’s general certificate of education – ordinary level, equal to a junior high school diploma the pass rate has fallen to 53 percent in 2009 from an already low 55 percent, The Sunday Times newspaper said.

Out of 272,000 students, 129,062 will not be able to enter the advance level (senior high school) stream in state schools because they have failed even compulsory subjects like mathematics.

The newspaper quoting Sri Lanka’s exam department chief Anura Edirisinghe said, 51 percent of students failed Mathematics and 55 percent failed science.

A student has to pass six subjects out of nine and get three credit passes including a compulsory subject like Mathematics to be considered to have ‘passed’ the examination.

Failed students will have to re-take the exam losing another year or drop out of the system. But students who fail the exam will have poor job prospects.

Paying Twice

Sri Lanka’s state-run education system is funded out of taxes extracted