ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 16

A/L marking: Teachers bow but battle continues

By Isuri Kaviratne

The marking of G.C.E. Advanced Level answer scripts began yesterday after a prolonged and agonizing delay with teacher unions obeying a Supreme Court order on this issue but vowing to continue their battle for better salaries once the marking is completed.

The Supreme Court on Friday remanded the five union leaders but later agree to release them on the payment of Rs. 50,000 in bail for each. The court acted against them for disobeying an earlier ruling and staging on Thursday a token strike which disrupted the marking of A/L answer scripts.

The five Unions are the Sri Lanka Eksath Guru Sangamaya, the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union, the Educational Professionals Union, the Lanka Guru Sangamaya and the Lanka Home Science and Agriculture Diploma Holders Teachers’ Union.

After the court ruling, the unions wrote to the Examinations Commissioner said the teachers had been called for the marking of A/L answer scripts through normal mail. Some of the letters had gone astray and the teachers concerned were not aware that they had been called for such work. Thus, the unions said it was unfair for the commission to hand over to the Supreme Court a list of all the names of such teachers when some of them had not even received the letters asking them to come for the marking.

In response, Exams Chief Anura Edirisinghe said he had only informed the Supreme Court that the teachers had defied an earlier court order by not turning up for the marking of answer scripts on September 13. He said that according to Friday’s court ruling, no one could make statements on paper marking or indulge in move that could undermine or sabotage the process.

Mr. Edirisinghe said principals had been instructed to give special leave and even obtain police security for teachers who were assigned for the marking of A/L answer scripts.

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