President permits classes for 500 students at a time
2020-06-30 at 07:22
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has granted permission for teachers to conduct tuition classes for 500 students in two time slots, after reviewing the present situation with health authorities.
The decision was reached during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday to find solutions to issues faced by both students and teachers with the recommencing of tuition classes which had to be halted due to the COVID–19 pandemic.
The teachers pointed out the difficultly limiting the number of students to 250 where the average attendance is more than 1000.
They also said students in Advanced Level and Ordinary Level classes lost the opportunity to pursue their studies for more than five months due to the Easter Sunday Attacks in 2019 and the COVID–19 global pandemic this year, while students sitting for the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam too face a similar situation.
Tuition teachers requested the President to consider these facts and to explore the possibility of postponing relevant examinations.
President instructed the Minister of Education to re-consider exam dates after consultation with teachers, students and parents.
On several occasions teachers, students and parents have pointed out the failure to cover the syllabuses due to closing down of schools in the wake of COVID-19.
President Rajapaksa advised the Commissioner of Examinations to increase the number of questions under a particular paper enabling students to have multiple choices.
Meanwhile the current Educational Service Tax stands at 24%.
The Head of State also agreed to consider the request made by the tuition teachers to amend the percentage.
The President also approved the distribution of leaflets to promote tuition classes adhering to health guidelines.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s attention was also 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.
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.