President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has approved seven (07) key decisions pertaining to private tuition classes conducted for students sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level and Advanced Level Examinations this year.
All private tuition classes were suspended in March due to the coronavirus outbreak in Sri Lanka.
The President approved the following decisions on private tuition classes during a meeting held with the All Island Professional Lecturers’ Association yesterday (29).
1. The teachers pointed out the difficulty of limiting the number of students to 250 where the average attendance is more than 1000. Reviewing the situation with the health authorities who were present, I granted permission to conduct classes for 500 students in two time slots.
2. Students in A/L and O/L classes lost the opportunity to pursue their studies for more than 5 months due to Easter Sunday Attacks in 2019 and COVID – 19 global pandemic this year. Students sitting for the Grade 5 Scholarship exam too face a similar situation. Considering these facts the tuition teachers requested me to consider these facts and to explore the possibility of postponing relevant examinations. I instructed the Minister of Education to reconsider exam dates after a thorough consultation with teachers, students and parents.
3. On several occasions teachers, students and parents have pointed out that failure to cover the syllabuses due to closing down of schools in the wake of COVID -19. I advised the Commissioner of Examinations to increase the number of questions under a particular paper enabling students to have multiple choices.
4.The current Educational Service Tax stands at 24%. I also agreed to consider the request made by the tuition teachers to amend the percentage.
5. I also approved the distribution of leaflets to promote tuition classes adhering to health guidelines.
6. My attention was drawn to the proposal by the Buddhist Advisory Council not to have tuition classes on Sunday mornings and on Full Moon Poya days.The Teachers expressed their fullest consent to refrain from having tuition classes on Poya Days.
7.It was also decided to review the possibility of cancelling the holding of tuition classes on Sunday mornings which are limited for the GCE Advanced Level students.