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Friday, 30 May 2014 - 13:21
UPDATE: Education Minister's Influence over A/L papers - Charges UNP.-Video

The UNP charged today that three senior professors of the committee to prepare Advanced Level Economics papers were removed for not accepting a reply given by the Minister.

The Lanka Teachers Association also requested the President to hold an inquiry over the charges that the Education Minister and the Examination Commissioner General influenced the preparing of Advanced Level question papers.

39 university teachers charged recently that after the removing of the three senior professors, the job of preparing question papers was given to the management faculty for the first time in the history of this sector.

The teachers have written regarding the issue to the President with copies forwarded to the Education Minister, former administrators of Advanced Level examination, University Teachers Association, Teachers Associations and the media.

Significantly all university teachers who signed the letter have previously participated in Advanced Level paper making.

The teachers who signed the letter warn that they may boycott answer script marking of the next A/Level examination to be held in August this year unless the issue of the education minister’s involvement in paper preparation is corrected.

The university teachers also pointed out that the newly appointed head of the question paper preparation committee by Minister Bandula Gunawardana is not qualified to hold the post as he holds a position in the University Grants Commission.

Ruhunu University Senior Lecturer Nandasiri Keembiya-Hetti who is also among the 39 signatories to the letter expressed his views to the media.

University teachers say the committee rejected certain verbal recommendations sent by the Minister through Dr. Abeyrathna Bandara.

They also said that they received a fax message from the Minister asking them to consider the change of a particular proposed answer in the paper.

However Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana said in parliament on the 24th of April that he was not involved in Advanced Level examination activities.

Later UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and the Speaker of parliament intervened in the debate.

Meanwhile during a media briefing held in Colombo today, UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said Minister Bandula Gunawardana’s statement in parliament cannot be accepted.

Dr. Jagath Bandaranayake who chaired the Advanced Level Business Studies paper preparation committee in 2013 stated that the Examination Commissioner General added five questions to the paper.

Although two weeks have passed since university teachers sent the letter regarding the situation they have not received any answer from authorities.

Our news team attempted several times to contact Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana and Examination Commissioner General W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara to comment on the issue but our efforts turned futile.

However Lanka Teachers Association Secretary Joseph Starlin said that the minister and the examination commissioner general should resign if they are involved in an independent examination system.

UPDATE: Friday, 30 May 2014 - 07:31 PM
UNP replies to Minister Bandula.

The UNP says that Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana is ignorant of memorandums of understanding and agreements.

Addressing a media briefing held in Colombo this morning, UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that Minister Gunawardana’s reply to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement with regard to the MoU with the IMF is clear proof to his ignorance.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told a media briefing held at his office recently that the government has entered a MoU with the IMF to slash allocation for education in the country.

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana convened a media briefing to reply to the Opposition Leader’s statement with regard to IMF.

However UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated that the opposition leader will make a statement over the weekend.
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