The GCE Advanced Level Examination commenced today on a successful note at 1932 centres including the North and East. 374 rehabilitated LTTE cadres are also sitting the examination.
The examination commenced at 8.30 this morning. This is the first time that a large number of candidates are sitting the examination. 269,000 had applied for the examination. Facilities are afforded for the conduct of this examination in a peaceful climate covering areas in the North and East. Commissioner General for Examinations Anura Edirisinghe said the examination will continue until the 3rd of next month.
The School Curricular Unit of the Examinations Department will be operative 24 hours of the day during the examination period. In the meantime, 374 LTTE cadres who surrendered to the Army following the peaceful environment prevailing in the North and underwent rehabilitation are also candidates. They are sitting the examination at the Tamil Madhya Maha Vidyalaya in Vavuniya. LTTE cadres of the Punthottam Rehabilitation Centre are also afforded facilities to sit the examination at this particular centre.
Meanwhile, free transport services are being provided for students sitting the GCE Advanced level examination. President of the All Ceylon Private Bus Owners’ Association Stanley Fernando said the service commenced today. Mr. Fernando said they had agreed to provide free transport to children who will be visiting the examination centres in uniform. He made a request from all associations to provide free transport to these students until the examination draws to an end.
However, the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association which is headed by Gemunu Wijeratna said that they had not taken action to provide free transport to the candidates.
The Association pointed out that as intimated by certain Associations, granting free transport to Advanced level candidates is not practical. Its President Gemun Wijeratne noted that the children had experienced hardships for 13 years and they will fall mentally by going for the examination with difficulties in the bus, following such immediate decisions taken sans apprising the bus employees. He is of the view that the children should face the examination without confronting any problems. He queried as to who would assume the responsibility if a dispute arose between the student and the conductor. Mr. Wijeratne further said that their Association had lodged a complaint to this effect to the Examinations Commissioner General and the Police.