The Education Ministry releases its circular and applications for the admission of students to Year 1 for the year 2011 today.
The new circular sees a major change in admission, with the decentralization of the admission procedure. “This new method ensures that the Ministry wields minimum influence over the admission procedure. The whole process has been handed over to the schools, making it altogether more transparent,” Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at a press yesterday.
Accordingly, the interview panel will not be headed by an official of the Ministry of Education.
The panel will be headed by the principal of the school. Provisions have been made for the primary school headmaster/mistress, an experienced member of staff, a member of the parents-teachers guild and a member of the past pupils association to be included in the panel.
However, the Appeals Board for each school will include an official from the Education or Provincial Education Department and will be headed by the principal of a neighbouring school.
This year’s circular remains unsatisfactory in regards of the admission criteria, with the percentage relating to distance, children of past pupils etc. seeing no change.
Addressing this issue, the Minister emphasized that he, by no means, considers the current method flawless.
“We want to complete the admission procedure as efficiently and as soon as possible. We want to avoid the delays that occurred the previous year”, he explained. “Therefore, we are compelled to bring forward the current circular due to the lack of time to make and approve any major changes.”
He went on to add that a new Act of Education was under way and would be presented before the end of the year.
The key dates of the admission procedure are as follows:
Final date for accepting applications: June 30
Interviews conducted by: September 15
Release of Temporary Name List: September 30
Final date for appeals and complaints: October 15
Calling up appeals and complaints: October 25 - November 20
Release of Final Name List: December 1