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Examination frauds:

Principals, officials soliciting bribes to be taken to task

School principals or any official caught taking bribes to support examination fraud will be reported to the Bribery Commission says Commissioner General of Examinations W.M.N.J Pushpakumara.

According to investigations into the two principals of St. Xavier’s College and Al Hira Muslim Vidyalaya, Nattandiya, it is not clear whether they accepted bribes to permit students of other districts to fraudulently appear as candidates from these two schools, Pushpakumara said.

“We don’t know yet if any money changed hands. If that is so we will take action against them and refer the case to the Bribery Commission” he said adding that he was unable to say what motivated the principals to blatantly disregard regulations and circulars i which stated that students could not be admitted in this manner. According to reliable sources, the Advanced Level science section of St. Xavier’s College had not been in operation since 2012. However, for several years students from other districts had been permitted by the Principal to sit for the examinations from the Science stream, in return for monetary gain.

Pushpakumara also said district examination officials too must take responsibility in this regard. “It is their responsibility to cross check entries and ensure that these students in fact attend the schools as claimed” he said suggesting that officials had in fact been negligent in allowing the fraud to take place.

Principals of both schools were interdicted earlier this week following an initial investigation for violating a circular issued in 2008 which prevents students from sitting for examinations in schools outside their districts.

An investigation is also being conducted against the Principal of Rathnavali Balika Vidyalaya, Gampaha for organising a karate competition in the school premises during examinations. “She has violated basic regulations and we have asked her to explain her conduct” Pushpakumara said adding that the Department will take necessary action once her response is received. However, despite many incidents of irregularities and frauds being reported at this year’s Advanced Level examination education authorities claimed that a numbers of such incidents have reduced significantly this year, due to stringent steps taken by them. According to Pushpakumara last year while a total of 150 incidents were reported, only 48 have been reported up to date this year.


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