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Saturday March 2nd, 2024

AL and Grade 5 Scholarship examinations will be held as scheduled – Minister

ECONOMYNEXT-The GCE Advanced Level exams and Grade 5 Scholarship exams will be held as planned despite the Covid scare the Education Minister has said.

Grade 05 scholarships exams are scheduled for October 11, while the GCE AL’s will be held from October 12 to November 06, 2020.

“More than 300,000 students are sitting for the grade 05 scholarship exam this year in 2936 exams centres islandwide” Education Minister Prof G.L. Pieris told reporters in Colombo today.

“And there are 362,000 students sitting for the GCE AL Examination his year in 2648 exam centres.”

Pieris said the government decided to hold the exams despite the ongoing situation in the country without postponing it again and delaying the exams for the students.

“The government has decided to go ahead with exams under the guidance of the health and security authorities,” Pieris said.

“We will sterilize all the exam halls in Gampaha district and we will provide transportation for all the people who need to go to exam centres in other areas,” he said.

Adding to that he said, students who are from families under quarantine will be directed to separate exam centres in Minuwangoda and Gampaha areas.

Secretary to the Ministry of Education Professor Kapila Perera said a special application form will be issued by the Ministry of Education for all the students to fill which will be used to trace students if any situation arises.

“As we have researched most of the students who need to go to another district is from Gampaha zone.”

“We discussed whether we are going to give them a separate exam centre from Gampaha or we let them go to their schools as usual.”

Perera said after the discussion with transportation authorities the Ministry took the decision.

“We decided to let them go to their schools as usual.”

“But we will follow strict guidelines of the health authorities.” (Colombo/ October 7/ 2020)

Reported by Chanka Jayasinghe

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Sri Lanka eyes SOE law by May 2024 for better governance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to pass a Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act improve governance of state-owned enterprise by May 2024 as part of an anti-corruption efforts following an International Monetary Fund assessment.

Sri Lanka’s state enterprises have been used by politicians to give ‘jobs of the boys’, appropriate vehicles for personal use, fill board of directors and key positions with henchmen and relatives, according to critics.

Meanwhile macro-economists working for the state also used them to give off-budget subsides or made energy utilities in particular borrow through supplier’s credits and state banks after forex shortages are triggered through inflationary rate cuts.

The government has taken billons of dollars of loans given to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation from state banks.

There have also been high profile procurement scandals connected to SOEs.

An SOE Reform Policy was approved by Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers in May 2023.

The Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act has now been drafted.

A holding company to own the SOEs will be incorporated and an Advisory Committee and Board of Directors will be appointed after the PCB law is approved, the statement said. (Colombo/Mar01/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 308.80/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 308.80/90 to the US dollar Friday, from 309.50/70 on Thursday, dealers said.

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.65/75 percent up from 10.50/70 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.90/12.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.15/35 percent down from 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent up from 12.30/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.30/45 percent down from 12.35/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.50/13.00 percent from 12.55/13.00 percent. (Colombo/Mar1/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.37-pct, Expo to de-list

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up 0.37 percent on Friday, and SG Holdings, the parent company of Expolanka Holdings Plc, said it was taking the company private.

Expolanka is the largest listed company on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

“Expolanka Holdings PLC has, at the Board Meeting held on 1st March 2024, considered a request from its principal shareholder and resolved to initiate the de-listing of the Company’s shares from the Official List of the Colombo Stock Exchange subject to obtaining necessary shareholder approval and regulatory approvals,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.

As per arrangements with SG Holdings Global Pte Ltd, the Company’s majority shareholder, it will purchase its shares from shareholders who may wish to divest their shareholding in the Company at a purchase price of Rs 185.00 per share. The share closed up at 150.50.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.37 percent, or 39.47 points, at 10,691; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.64 percent, or 19.59 points, at 3,037.

Turnover stayed above the 1 billion mark for the sixth consecutive day, registering 1.4 billion.

Crossings in Melstarcorp Plc (135mn) up at 89.50, Hatton National Bank Plc (64mn) up at 158.00, Hemas Holdings Plc (53mn) up at 75.00 and Central Finance Company Plc (26mn) up at 103.50, added significantly to the day’s turnover.

“The upward trend is continuing, with more retail buying also coming in, the number of trades was more than 10,000 today,” a market participant said. “Investors are looking for undervalued stocks and buying in quantities.” (Colombo/Mar1/2024).

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