The conduct of school term tests is in a serious crisis in the face of the surging paper and printing costs, said Chief Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union Joseph Stalin speaking to a briefing yesterday (27).
“Right now we know that some provinces have decided to hold the first term test in schools. The most serious problem they face is that there is a severe increase in the price of paper used for printing for the tests. If we take the North Central Province, they are going to give question papers only for Grade 11. The rest is being done at the school level. A packet of duplo stencil sold for about Rs. 7,500 is now sold for Rs. 30,000. Also, a pack of ink – even a cheaper one – sold for Rs. 3,500 per five is now sold for Rs. 15,000. The half sheet paper price has risen by three times. When the school term tests are held, either an intervention must be held into this matter by the provincial council level, or some specific arrangement should be made regarding the delivery of papers. Otherwise, the assessment of these children will be severely messed up,” Stalin warned.
He added: “We have been continuously saying that the government is letting the price go up, which means it really does not care. We know that now the price of children’s shoes has sharply risen. A pair of shoes costing about Rs. 2,000 has now increased to Rs. 4,000. Transportation costs have increased by three times. But parents’ salaries have not increased at all. In the backdrop, school education cannot be averted from suffering a severe collapse.”