SC rejects move by Higher Education Minister for permission to constitute Expert commission
Alleged erroneous formula to calculate Z-Score
By S.S Selvanayagam
The Supreme Court yesterday rejected the move by the Minister of Higher Education to constitute a Commission to look into the grievances of the G.C.E (A/L) students who challenged the application of an alleged erroneous and unjustifiable formula to calculate the Z-Score the candidates of the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination held in August 2011.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice Shirani A. Bandaranayake, Justices N.G Amaratunga and K. Sripavan refused to allow the motion filed on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education.
The said motion sought permission to constitute a Commission to look into the grievances of the G.C.E. (A/L) students.
The Court noted there was an ample of time granted for them to arrive at a solution and that the Court reserved the judgment for 31 May and the Respondents were directed to file written submissions before 28 May.
Justice Sripavan observed the Ministry of Higher Education has no authority to select students to the Universities and it was in the hands of the University Grants Commission and enunciated therefore such application could not be made. The Court yesterday reserved its judgment to be delivered before 30 June on the right petition challenging the application of an alleged erroneous and unjustifiable formula to calculate the Z-Score of
The Court on 13 February granted leave to proceed with the petition for the alleged infringement of the fundamental rights of the Petitioners to equality and equal protection of the law. Sixteen G.C.E (Advanced Level) students along with Ceylon Teachers’ Union filed the fundamental rights violation petition citing Commissioner General of Examinations W. M.N.J. Pushpakumara, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene, Peradeniya University Prof. R.O. Thattil and the Attorney General as Respondents.
J.C Weliyamuna with Senani Dayaratne instructed by Sanjeeva Kaluarachchi appeared for the Petitioners. Additional Solicitor General Bimba Tilakaratne Jayasinghe with Senior State Counsel Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General. Faisz Musthapha with Kushani Alwis and Faiza Markar Musthapha instructed by Thushari Jayawardana appeared for the UGC. Attorneys-at-Law B.S Atapattu and Senaratne appeared for intervenients. Prof. Thattil appeared in person for himself.
Petitioners complain by this purported erroneous and unjustifiable application has caused a gross distortion of the examination results.
They allege that one or more or all of the Respondents have violated their fundamental rights to equality and equal protection of the law.
They seek the Court to declare that all the results issued with respect to the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination 2011 are null and void and that the results of the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination 2011 released on or around 25-12-2011 and/or the Z-Scores contained therein, which have been calculated by considering the two syllabuses (new syllabus and old syllabus) as a single population, are null and void.
They are asking the Court to direct that the Z-Scores of the candidates of the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination 2011 be calculated according to the accepted statistical norms and principles, and to calculate the Z-Score of a subject on the premise that the new syllabus and the old syllabus are two distinct populations.
They are also asking the Court to direct anyone or more of the Respondents to reissue the results of the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination 2011 to all the candidates after correcting the errors as regards the Z-Score and/or other shortcomings.
They are seeking the Court to make an appropriate interim order suspending any further step/s taken by anyone or more of the Respondents and/or any other authority with respect to the results of the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination 2011, including the university admission, until the final determination of this Application.
They are asking the Court to make order calling for all the documentation, records and reports pertaining to the calculation of the Z-Score contained in the official results of the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination 2011 released on or around 30-12-2011 and to award compensation to the Petitioners as determined by the Court.