–No use of maintaining schools if the parents must send their children to tuition classes while undergoing a heavy suffering
– The Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha
Within the new educational transformative process, being present in the classroom will be compulsory in the future as there are some amount of marks that should be scored even at grade five scholarship examination while remaining in grades four and five classrooms and it applies to all other grades because daily attendance in the classrooms is compulsory for the students in order to pass the examinations, says The Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha. The minister stated this while attending the function of appreciating the 2022 scholarship winners in Ayagama Division of Most Venerable Niwithigala Dhammananda Nayaka Thera Commemorative Scholarship Foundation.
Education is not a process that can be achieved by gathering about thousand five hundred children in one hall and lecturing them. But it is a complex process involving the priorities like formation of disciplinary behavior of children and multi-faceted skills and abilities development, the minister emphasized at this occasion. Additional tuition classes employing such lecturing methods are not completely practicable for the children in primary classes, he said.
Receiving a helping hand in the process of teaching learning process is not wrong but the evolved situation of it as an industry based on commercial gains is not suitable, said the minister. The grave situation that the parents have faced with present economic and social challenges and compelled to spend a large sum of money for tuition classes of their children must be avoided immediately. Otherwise the aims of free education maintained by developing physical and human resources in the schools and paying teachers’ salaries spending huge amount of money and conducting teacher training sessions will be vanished, he mentioned. This kind of situation is not visible in any country in the world and the concepts and criteria maintained in the field of early childhood education in this country are also in a changeable situation and it must be directed to a full transformation, he said.
Further expressing his views Mr. Susil Premajayantha said the passing of scholarship examination is not scoring marks above the cut off mark and the cut off mark is decided upon the amount of bursary that the government can allocate annually. If the government can increase the amount of money allocated for bursaries, the scholarship cut off mark would also be reduced. Therefore, it is not reasonable to judge the children depending on that mark, the minister emphasized. Since this scholarship examination is held for giving opportunities for children to enter the popular schools, it is useless to direct the children already learning in those popular schools to sit for this exam and it will increase the continuous exam competitiveness already present in the system, he said.
Although the advanced level examination is held in the future, it is expected to conduct the primary classes in the schools during January 2024. All missed subject syllabuses will be covered during the next year and the vacations will be reduced accordingly, said the minister. Another burden will be added to the country by increasing the elderly population in comparison to the young population in the country and there must be a proper administrative system including appropriate economic policies in order to overcome all these issues and only money is not necessary always in this regard but the attitudinal changes are also sufficient, he mentioned.