Problems have arisen over the results of Sri Lanka’s university entrance examination for the second consecutive year. Student unions and political parties are complaining of irregularities and inconsistent figures in the just-released 2012 results, in a new fiasco that they say is jeopardising the credibility of the exam system.
The influential Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) said it had found enough examples to prove inaccuracies in the results, in the standardised score known as the ‘Z-score’ and in student rankings.
IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara said that there was an abnormal increase in the number of students who had obtained three ‘A’ passes in the commerce stream, yet many could not get into university, in part because there were not enough places.
According to results released in recent weeks, 6,471 students obtained ‘A’ passes in all three subjects required in the commerce stream. But only about 5,000 candidates from that stream will be able to gain university places.
Voice of Youth Organisation Convener Gayan Janaka said students who obtained the highest marks in the recent A-level examination have not gained places
“When a student obtains three A’s in the A-level exam they are certain that they can enter university. But due to the large number of students admitted this year as well as the high pass rate, many of these students who have worked so hard to get into university are very unlikely to be allowed in,” he said.
“Many students have lost the opportunity to get a higher education. About 220,000 sit the A-level examination every year but only 20,000 are admitted to universities. What happens to the rest of the 200,000? Don’t they have a right to an education?” Janaka asked.
However, Examinations Department Commissioner WMNJ Pushpakumara insisted the results were “100% accurate” and refuted as baseless the IUSF charges of miscalculations.
“A committee and special team were assigned to separately calculate these values and later compared [them] to ensure there were no miscalculations,” Pushpakumara said.
Last year thousands of Sri Lankan students and their parents protested against education officials’ incompetence after their standardised ‘Z scores’ were changed due to miscalculations after the rankings were released.
The Sri Lankan Supreme Court directed the University Grants Commission to admit additional students to local universities. Accordingly, an extra 5,609 students were admitted – a 25% increase over the normal intake.
The IUSF is urging the government once again to admit extra students to state universities.
Extract From : University World News