A/L 2022 examination was held from 3rd January to 17th February 2023. However, marking of examination answer scrips has not been started yet. The evaluation of the answer scripts has been delayed for one month and 10 days. It seems that this will be further delayed due to ongoing industrial action by University Professors (FUTA members).
Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) launched a strike against the newly introduced tax policies with effect from 9th March and they are refraining from participating A/L Paper marking activities.
FUTA Teachers’ decision on marking of A-level 2022 examination papers (2 April 2023)
The Federation of University Teachers’ Association FUTA says that the government should take responsibility for the delay in the marking of the answer sheets of the advanced level examination.
Its chairman Professor Shyama Bannahaka said that if the government provides a proper solution to their demands, they are ready to start checking the answer sheets immediately.
“I want to make it very clear. We have decided to withdraw from the examination of the answer sheets of this high school examination… on the basis that our members, who are being unfairly treated by this tax policy, need some relief. There is no other demand attached to this. At the same time, they are trying to create a racist issue,” replied the Sinhala media. It is not just looking at the papers. Tamil media is looking at the answer sheets. I declare with great responsibility. Nothing like that will happen. There is no Sinhala or Tamil speech here. All those who do not participate in this activity are not only the university lecturers but also the school teachers. That is why this situation continues. We are not responsible for the continuing drag and drop. Therefore, we are saying responsibly. If the government gives a positive response, we are ready to start this work at any moment. If a solution is given today, then tomorrow will not be called the upcoming holidays. Our members are ready to see the answer sheets. .”
TU action by FUTA has jeopardized the education of hundreds of thousands of students.
The Trade Union (TU) action taken by the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) and some school teachers not to take part in evaluating the answer scripts of the GCE Advanced Level (A/L)examination has jeopardised the education of hundreds of thousands of students.
The evaluation of the answer scripts has been delayed for one month and 10 days. About 1,400 university lecturers are needed for the purpose. They are required to prepare the marking system and train the participating teachers.
Except for a few retired university teachers, no university teachers have come forward to take part in the answer script evaluation work under FUTA’s and Ceylon Teachers’ Union’s (CTU) influence.
The number of students who sat the GCE Advanced examination in January 2023 is 339,000. It takes about six weeks to complete the paper marking process.
The number of teachers needed for this exercise is around 19,000. Despite calling for applications from last year, only 13,000 applications have been received so far.
As a result, the evaluation of answer sheets for Combined Mathematics, Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology could not begin.
The Education Ministry pays between Rs.150 – Rs 175 to mark an answer sheet. The Cabinet has also approved an increase in teachers’ and examiners’ daily allowance from Rs.1,450 to Rs.2,000. This was also one of the demands of the techers’ TUs. The issue revolves only around Sinhala and English medium teachers while the Tamil medium teachers have already begun paper marking. FUTA office-bearers have said that they will not participate in the evaluation of A/L answer scripts until a disciplinary investigation on the Vice Chancellor of the Ruhuna University is completed. Earlier they said that they refrained from paper-marking in opposition to the Government’s new tax policy. In these circumstances, it is expected that the parents will intervene to resolve the matter with FUTA and school teachers for the sake of their children’s future.