By Raisa Wickrematunge
Hundreds of young IDPs and the newly resettled, will be sitting the Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations this year. A representative from the Examinations Department said that a total of 214,239 candidates would be sitting for the exams through their respective schools.
A further 54,694 would be sitting the exams privately, he added. Around 1921 exam centres will accommodate the candidates.
However, information as to how many of these candidates were newly resettled or are still in the welfare centres, proved near impossible to find. Minister of Education, Bandula Gunasekara referred The Sunday Leader to Exams Commissioner, Anura Edirisinghe.
Edirisinghe said that there were no IDPs sitting the examinations. “The information I have is that nearly 400 students from detention camps in Vavuniya will be sitting Advanced Level examinations,” he said.
However, sources in Vavuniya and Kilinochchi said that hundreds of the newly resettled were traveling to exam centres to take the exams.
Planning Director for Education in Kilinochchi, Mrs. Tuvanarajah said a total of 2075 students in the area were sitting the Ordinary Level examinations in the area. 1034 were sitting for Advanced Level exams, most of whom were Arts students (666). Of these, Tuvanarajah estimated at least a 100 A/Level students would be traveling from Menik Farm to sit their exams. “They have to sit the exam in their own school. We are expecting an increase in the number of students, perhaps even another hundred or more, taking the exams as more families are resettled,” Tuvanarajah said.
Meanwhile, the Vavuniya Government Agent’s Office said that 690 Ordinary Level and 190 Advanced Level students would travel from Chettikulam, 20km from the Wanni. “We are still collecting information from the camps, as the resettlement process is ongoing,” the representative said. Most offices said information on Ordinary Level students, particularly IDPs, was “difficult to collect.”