Government Yet Undecided On Addressing Z-score Issue
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
The government is yet undecided on a solution to the mess-up in the Z-scores of last year’s GCE Advanced Level examination.
The report on the Z-score issue being prepared on a Presidential directive is yet to be finalized. Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake told heads of media institutions during a breakfast meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees last Monday that the report would be presented to the President that evening.
However, even at the time of going to print, the report was yet to be handed over to the President.
Higher Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said the report was still being prepared.
He said that he was unable to give an exact date, but said the report should be ready in a few days.
According to Navaratne, the government would decide on how best to address the issues faced by the students due to the change in the Z-scores. Meanwhile, Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella admitted that the Z-score issue is a controversy the government is currently trying to resolve.
He explained that the government is committed to ensure that students would not be faced with an unfair situation due to the change in Z-scores following a Supreme Court directive.
“The President is looking at accommodating even the students who previously received high Z-scores and those who have been selected to university after the release of the new scores. But all this would depend on the number of students,” he said.
Rambukwella noted that the government would know the exact numbers once the report is finalized.
General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) Joseph Stalin charged that the government has failed to make any concrete steps towards addressing the current crisis faced by the students.
“Everyone makes statements to the public, but there has not been any official action taken to address the issue faced by the students,” he said.
He observed that the ministry has still been unable to even prepare the report requested by the President.
“There have been statements that all students affected by the Z-score issue would be granted university admission, but there has not been any official assurance given to the effect or a mechanism has not been put in place to carry out the process,” Stalin said. According to him, the future of thousands of thousands students are in limbo due to the mess created by the government. Students meanwhile have filed complaints before the Human Rights Commission (HRC).
The HRC has so far received nearly 1,700 complaints from students whose Z-scores were changed following the recalculation based on a Supreme Court ruling. Also, 33 students who sat for the A/Level examination last year have filed a fresh fundamental rights petition in Supreme Court. The students have sought a court order to nullify the latest Z-score results. They have requested for an interim injunction issued to prevent university admissions until the completion of the hearing of their FR petition.