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 Post subject: Damn lies, Forged documents, Corrupt principals & Bad Sy
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:08 pm 
Damn lies, Forged documents, Corrupt principals & Bad System

corrupt principals

Web posted at: 4/10/2005 11:1:2
Source ::: The Peninsula

President Chandrika Kumaratunga said stern action would be taken against principals who have committed irregularities in school admissions.

Addressing a public meeting at President’s House on Thursday, Kumaratunga was quoted in the Daily News as saying it has been proved beyond doubt that certain principals were engaged in blatant acts of corruption in admitting children to their schools.

“It is unfortunate that some are trying to impart religious connotations to certain decisions made by the government in this regard. No such distinctions were considered in making those decisions,” she said, adding that it was regrettable that certain elements had tried to use parents and children to demonstrate against the government.

“The political bankruptcy of some groups becomes evident under these circumstances. They should act in a more responsible manner regarding matters which affect the younger generation,” she added.

Parents and students have vociferously protested over the interdicted of principals are B A Abeyratne (Ananda College, Colombo) and Ranjith Chandrasekara (Kingswood College, Kandy) over admission malpractices.


Shocking school scam: 50 percent of admissions on forged documents

Sunday Times 10APR2005
By Sachitra Mahendra

The Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) probing Grade One school admissions has found that more than 50 percent of children have been admitted to national schools based on fraudulent documents and horrifyingly the principal of a leading school in Colombo was among those who sold forged documents.

The principal allegedly offered the forged documents at Rs. 20,000 a set to parents, who wanted their children admitted to the school, PIU chief M. Wickramasinghe told The Sunday Times.

PIU investigators have located the place where the documents such as the Grama Sevaka certificate, birth certificates and the electorate register were forged.

The shocking disclosures have been made during a detailed investigation carried out by the unit into 14 national schools which were among some 120 schools from where complaints of irregularities were received. The PIU chief said some addresses from where children had been admitted to school were non existent while proof had been found that they had prepared forged electoral lists.

Among them is a student who was admitted to Ananda college from a dilapidated house which was unoccupied for more than 25 years. The student's family lived in Ragama. Soon after the investigations began on this case, the file relating to the admission had gone missing.

A former PA deputy minister, an official of the Bribery Commission, police officers and a doctor are among those who had produced forged documents to gain admission to Ananda College, the PIU chief said.

During the investigation regarding Kingswood College, Kandy, the PIU found that the principal was allegedly responsible for altering marks provided by the interview board. In some cases 44 marks had been altered to 55, Mr. Wickramasinghe said. At Minuwangoda Nalanda Balika, the PIU detectives found that the principal was allegedly responsible for collecting donations and issued no receipts, despite a ban on such donations.

In addition to the principals of Ananda and Kingswood for alleged involvement in admission irregularities, the Education Ministry has also interdicted the principals of Maliyadeva Balika, Kurunegala, Nalanda Balika Minuwangoda and Pannala Central.

Ananda College Principal B. A. Abeyratne declined to comment on his interdiction while Kingswood Principal Ranjith Chandrasekara said no charge sheet had been served on him.

Meanwhile Education Ministry Additional Secretary S. L. Gunawardena who supervises Grade One admissions said action would be taken if parents and students continued protests against the interdiction of the principals.


Lies, damn lies and documents for school admission

The Island
Publication Date : 2005-04-09

Sri Lanka is perhaps the only country where the state sponsors a process of producing a future generation of liars, who will be fit only for politics. Lying is reproachable and liars are censured in any society, especially when the culprits happen to be children. But here in this paradise isle, children are taught to lie their way through at a very tender age.

Yes, we are talking about school admissions: Admissions to the so-called popular schools, to be more precise.

This obnoxious process sometimes begins with the very conception of a child. The moment a woman knows she is pregnant, she thinks of a school for her son or daughter. Some parents wait till childbirth. Father embarks on a project of forgery which costs him a fortune. Some of those who live in close proximity to popular schools hire out not their houses but their addresses to anxious parents. The palms of Grama Niladaris, and all other officers who issue documents needed to prove residence are oiled. Then the stage is set for the grand fraud.

Immediately after the child begins to speak, he or she is trained to lie for the sake of his or her future. Mock interviews are conducted at home and the child is made to memorise all lies about the bogus residence close to the school of their choice. Some parents go to the extent of taking even their wedding pictures to these addresses to pull the wool over the eyes of the ‘flying squads’ of school principals. And an innocent tiny tot fed on a diet of lies for years, faces the interview proper. Most of them gain admission to their dream schools, while others fail.

The irony is that everybody knows that this is a racket, but it is taken for granted. So, the imposing edifices of popular schools rest on a foundation of lies. The large number of school vans and buses and other vehicles that bring children to these schools from far way places has made a mockery of the so-called proximity rule governing school admissions. It is the absence of these vehicles in the city which makes Colombo congestion free, during school vacations. The same goes for other urban centres where popular schools are located.

Lies, damn lies and documents for school admission!

It is against this background that the interdiction of the principals of Ananda College and Kingswood College has to be viewed. The special presidential investigations unit probing school admissions is reported to have found that at these two institutions, children had been admitted on fraudulent documents.

It is unfortunate that children were used in a protest against this decision on Thursday. Interdictions are the natural outcome of a serious investigation in any state institution, until the officials concerned are found innocent. The protesters should realise that the best way for the officials to clear their names is to face the investigation and to prove their innocence. They should recall even UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is being probed over his son’s involvement in a firm that secured a contract from the UN.

It was only the other day that we took on the JVP for its alleged move to involve children in a series of political protests. And to those who instigated Thursday’s demonstration as well we say: "Hands off children!"

Admitting children on bogus documents, as was said earlier, is fairly widespread and why only two principals have been interdicted is intriguing. If principals were to be interdicted on the same ground, most popular schools would be without heads.

While probing principals over alleged malpractices cannot be questioned, as it is a matter that should be left to the Ministry of Education, the fact remains that it is only a piecemeal solution adopted, without root causes of the problem being addressed.

The mad scramble for admission to popular schools, which is the mother of all malpractices, results from the existence of two categories of schools—good and bad. And the solution to the problem is to elevate the ‘unpopular schools’ to the level of their popular counterparts so that the student population will be distributed among many schools. This task requires the allocation of more resources to peripheral schools.

Even if the process of admissions to popular schools is to be rid of corruption, only the progeny of affluent city dwellers living close to ‘big’ schools will have access to them, while others in the suburbs and the rural areas will be left with a set of ‘unpopular’ schools. This is why the government has to go beyond hounding principals and give thought to developing rural and suburban schools.

Else, the remedy of the government will be like, as the Sri Lankan saying goes, trying to control dysentery with a loin cloth. Or in other words, it is a Sisyphean task: We see the Sisyphuses of the Education Ministry pushing a boulder uphill not in Hades but in Colombo.

 Post subject: DS principal interdicted
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:53 am 
DS principal interdicted

By Kelum Bandara
DM / 21APR2005

The principal of D.S.Senanayake College, Colombo was interdicted by the Education Ministry yesterday following a recommendation made by the Presidential Investigation Unit which conducted investigations into alleged malpractices and irregularities in year one admissions to the school.

According to the PIU, the principal Ashoka Senani Hewage is alleged to have admitted children to Year 1 classes arbitrarily violating the national schools circular on year 1 admissions.

Colombo Royal College Acting Principal Prasantha Udumuhandiram has been appointed as the principal of D.S.Senanayake College.

A Ministry official said the principal was alleged to have accepted false land deeds and electoral lists to admit children arbitrarily.

"Among the first 20 files we checked, we found 14 false land deeds. We found another six files containing fake electoral lists. The principal has also not displayed the addresses of selected children on the notice board.

“This is also an offence," the official said.

Commenting on his interdiction, Mr.Hewage said he was surprised about the decision insisting that he had not violated the circular.

"There is a procedure set out in the Establishment Code which has to be followed when government employees are charged with such offences. In this case they have violated norms and regulations that have to be followed when taking action against an executive grade public servant. In my case, I have not been charged with serious offences like taking bribes," he said.

 Post subject: Police arrest D.S. principal
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:20 pm 
Dateline Colombo: Police arrest school principal

Web posted at: 4/23/2005 1:36:38
Source ::: The Peninsula

A top Colombo school principal was arrested by police on Thursday in connection with an ongoing controversial probe by the President’s Office over allegedly irregular school admissions in state schools. Newspapers said Asoka Senani Hewage, principal of D S Senanayake College who was interdicted on Wednesday, was arrested the following day. Police sources said he was taken into custody for interrogation regarding the alleged acceptance of forged documents for admitting children to Year 1 classes at the school. According to the Presidential Investigation Unit which conducted investigations into the alleged irregularities and malpractices in the Year 1 admission process, the principal had allegedly accepted forged land deeds and electoral lists to admit children. At least three to four principals have been interdicted over admissions to grade one classes in a presidential probe that has been widely condemned by opposition political parties as improper.

 Post subject: Sri Lanka’s college admission – A fraudulent system inherent
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:58 am 
Sri Lanka’s college admission – A fraudulent system inherent with deception

BY Nagananda Kodituwakku - Attorney at Law and Solicitor, England and Wales
@ Asian Tribune

A prominent leader of the United National Party (UNP) Dr. G L Peiris made it public through media that action taken against some college principals in Sri Lanka, who were alleged to have embezzled millions of rupees by fraudulent means, - “Unacceptable.”

In other words what the UNP stalwart holding brief was that deception, corruption and bribery that became a rampant practice during the days of the government under late J.R. Jayewardene which in fact ruined the moral values in the people, should be allowed to continue.

People should take serious note of G L Peiris rhetoric and the UNP’s stance favouring the fraudulent practices that destroyed the country.

First hand evidence of abuse of the system

As an affected parent of the system full of corruption, I have set out below my viewpoint as a parent who had been denied justice for refusing to follow the established practice of fraud and forgery adhered in the school admission.

I am an old boy of Ananda College, Colombo and I was then living in Nugegoda.

When my first son was born, my friends and relatives advised me to furnish false information in my child’s birth certificate i.e. to give residential address somewhere closer to the Ananda College. This was a common practice prevalent in those days and most people followed; not only the birth certificate, they use to arrange their name registered in the utility bills [water, electrify, phone] electoral register and some parents even arranged to have false property deed done under their name.

I have no doubt that most of the people who hold high offices too has committed such fraud in order to get their children admitted to “popular schools”.

In my case I refused to follow such fraudulent practice and when applications were called for school admission, I furnished an application to Ananda College for admission to my son, with the true information of my place of residence.

Subsequently, interview was held and I informed the interview panel that in order to admit my child to the school I have not produced any false documents, but requested the panel to give my child an opportunity on the basis that I was an old boy of the school. But my application was rejected as my son did not qualify the residential requirement.

I took my case to the Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaranatunga and requested her to do justice to my child, but even the President was helpless against such an organised deceptive system and finally I was compelled to admit my two sons to the Lyceum School, Nugegoda.

I am sure that there are many more parents like me who were denied justice for refusing follow fraudulent practice, which is also punishable criminal offence.

Admission based on merit and ability to learn

During our time, i.e. before UNP came into power in 1977, admissions to the popular schools were purely based on merit and ability to learn and not on the ability of deception. Then popular schools admitted children only at year 7 and admission to year 7 was wholly based on the results year 6-scholarship examination and that was fair to all.

People should applaud the Sri Lanka President for the action she has taken in the right direction to stop the culture of deception and the ethics of fraud.

On the other hand, the UNP leadership is well known for corruption and all sorts of nefarious acts and wrongdoing and they were very political party responsible for abandoning the old scheme of school admission based on ability to learn.

So there is no element of surprise when people like G L Peiris try to defend the wrongdoing. We all must realise that this is the ripe time to stop deception and to reinstate a system based on justice and fairness to all.

Furthermore irrespective of political power or clout, I strongly advocate that those who commit wrongdoing should be dealt according to the law of the land.

 Post subject: Crisis in Education Ministry
 Post Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 8:45 pm 
Crisis in Education Ministry

© 2001 The Peninsula

The crisis over alleged corruption among school heads and the interdiction of several principals worsened on Tuesday when another state agency overturned the decisions of the Education Ministry and reinstated the principals. Newspapers said that the Education Ministry was consulting the Attorney General after the Public Service Commission (PSC) moved to reinstate the principals of Ananda and Kingswood colleges. These principals had been suspended last month by the Ministry over alleged irregularities in school admissions. Ministry Secretary Dr Tara de Mel was quoted as saying she had received a letter from the PSC regarding the reinstatement of the two principals and she was seeking the Attorney General’s opinion. “We will act within the law and go by the AG’s advice,” she was quoted as saying.

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