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Thursday February 29th, 2024

Final decision about O/L exams by December 10 – GL

ECONOMYNEXT- The final decision on the dates of the O/L examinations will be taken by 10 December depending on the resumption of schools in the Western Province and other isolated areas, Education Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said.

Speaking to reporters today, he said that if it is decided to hold the examinations as previously planned them the ministry will be flexible in preparing the exam papers depending on how much of the syllabus has been covered.

He said this was following examples such as the UK which tried that flexibility in their exams which were held during the pandemic.

The Minister said that although e-learning methods are introduced to cover the syllabus for students, it is not a complete solution as it is required for the students to meet the teachers face-to-face for certain activities.

Further, he said that if the government continues to close down the schools it will mean shutting down the lives of the students and added that ministry will take decision on the resumptions of schools based only in two factors, the assurance of the health and safety of the students and their future.

Also, he said that when the decision was made to go ahead with A/L exams, it was a difficult decision to make at that time as many criticized the decision by the government, “but we had the courage to conduct those exams. Later the parents praised us for the decision,” he added.

Moreover, he said that by yesterday only 51pct of students and 82pct of teachers have attended schools island-wide.

G.C.E. O/L examinations are currently scheduled to be held 18 – 27 January 2021. (Colombo/Nov26/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

Comments (4)

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  1. Refde Azwe says:

    Just a remainder. Sri Lankan education system is no where near to United Kingdoms.

  2. Zamana says:

    When will the O/L exams be held?????

  3. Muadth says:

    It’s 100% true “e-learning methods are introduced to cover the syllabus for students, it is not a complete solution”

  4. Priyantha Jayamanne says:

    How do one project that postponement of the GCE OL examination once again would help beat the Covid situation in the country. Imagine the predicament if the govt delayed the GCE AL and Scholarship exams further/beyond October 2020!

    Now, what is the guarantee that even if the schools are reopen that children will come to school, especially the candidates who are due to sit the 2020 exam?

    Next, who can assure that teachers would come and do a productive 6 hour teaching schedule for GCE OL students? Ask this question 100 times over till you are clear.

    Let proper senses prevail with our decision makers without succumbing to pressure groups!

    Please note and be aware that children have been with books since March 2020 now for more than nine months, they achieved their syllabus targets by August/September 2020 and don’t forget they also had 7.30 am – 3.30 pm school sessions from June to October 2020

    So what more, please have the GCE OL on the already postponed dates, 18th to 28th January 2021 and ensure the children get on with their lives

    Do not allow Covid to take the better of our younger generation!

View all comments (4)

Comments (4)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Refde Azwe says:

    Just a remainder. Sri Lankan education system is no where near to United Kingdoms.

  2. Zamana says:

    When will the O/L exams be held?????

  3. Muadth says:

    It’s 100% true “e-learning methods are introduced to cover the syllabus for students, it is not a complete solution”

  4. Priyantha Jayamanne says:

    How do one project that postponement of the GCE OL examination once again would help beat the Covid situation in the country. Imagine the predicament if the govt delayed the GCE AL and Scholarship exams further/beyond October 2020!

    Now, what is the guarantee that even if the schools are reopen that children will come to school, especially the candidates who are due to sit the 2020 exam?

    Next, who can assure that teachers would come and do a productive 6 hour teaching schedule for GCE OL students? Ask this question 100 times over till you are clear.

    Let proper senses prevail with our decision makers without succumbing to pressure groups!

    Please note and be aware that children have been with books since March 2020 now for more than nine months, they achieved their syllabus targets by August/September 2020 and don’t forget they also had 7.30 am – 3.30 pm school sessions from June to October 2020

    So what more, please have the GCE OL on the already postponed dates, 18th to 28th January 2021 and ensure the children get on with their lives

    Do not allow Covid to take the better of our younger generation!

Sri Lanka’s RAMIS online tax collection system “not operatable”: IT Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s online tax collection system RAMIS is “not operatable”, and the Ministry of Information Technology is ready to do for an independent audit to find the shortcomings, State IT Minister Kanaka Herath said.

The Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) was introduced to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) when the island nation signed for its 16th International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in 2016.

However, trade unions at the IRD protested the move, claiming that the system was malfunctioning despite billions being spent for it amid allegations that the new system was reducing the direct contacts between taxpayers and the IRD to reduce corruption.

The RAMIS had to be stopped after taxpayers faced massive penalties because of blunders made by heads of the IT division, computer operators and system errors at the IRD, government officials have said.

“The whole of Sri Lanka admits RAMIS is a failure. The annual fee is very high for that. This should be told in public,” Herath told reporters at a media briefing in Colombo on Thursday (29)

“In future, we want all the ministries to get the guidelines from our ministry when they go for ERP (Enterprise resource planning).”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government said the RAMIS system will be operational from December last year.

However, the failure has delayed some tax collection which could have been paid via online.

“It is not under our ministry. It is under the finance ministry. We have no involvement with it, but still, it is not operatable,” Herath said.

“So, there are so many issues going on and I have no idea what the technical part of it. We can carry out an independent audit to find out the shortcomings of the software.”

Finance Ministry officials say IRD employees and trade unions had been resisting the RAMIS because it prevents direct interactions with taxpayers and possible bribes for defaulting or under paying taxes.

The crisis-hit island nation is struggling to boost its revenue in line with the target it has committed to the IMF in return for a 3 billion-dollar extended fund facility. (Colombo/Feb 29/2024) 

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Sri Lanka aims to boost SME with Sancharaka Udawa tourism expo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is hosting Sancharaka Udawa, a tourism industry exhibition which will bring together businesses ranging from hotels to travel agents and airlines, and will allow the small and medium sector build links with the rest of the industry, officials said.

There will be over 250 exhibitors, with the annual event held for the 11th time expected to draw around 10,000 visitors, the organizers said.

“SMEs play a big role, from homestays to under three-star categories,” Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman, Chalaka Gajabahu told reporters.

“It is very important that we develop those markets as well.”

The Sancharaka Udawa fair comes as the Indian Ocean island is experiencing a tourism revival.

Sri Lanka had welcomed 191,000 tourists up to February 25, compared to 107,639 in February 2023.

“We have been hitting back-to-back double centuries,” Gajabahu said. “January was over 200,000.”

The exhibition to be held on May 17-18, is organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators.

It aims to establish a networking platform for small and medium sized service providers within the industry including the smallest sector.

“Homestays have been increasingly popular in areas such as Ella, Down South, Knuckles and Kandy,” SLAITO President, Nishad Wijethunga, said.

In the northern Jaffna peninsula, both domestic and international tourism was helping hotels.

A representative of the Northern Province Tourism Sector said that the Northern Province has 170 hotels, all of which have 60-70 percent occupancy.

Further, domestic airlines from Colombo to Palali and the inter-city train have been popular with local and international visitors, especially Indian tourists. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 309.50/70 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 309.50/70 to the US dollar Thursday, from 310.00/15 on Wednesday, dealers said.

Bond yields were slightly higher.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.50/70 percent down from 10.60/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.10 percent from 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.30/45 percent up from 12.20/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.35/50 percent up from 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.55/13.00 percent up from 12.50/90 percent. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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