The GCE Ordinary Level Examination which was earlier slated to be held next January will most likely be held in March 2021, Education Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris said.
Speaking at a special media conference held online under the patronage of Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, the Education Minister said that the exam will not be postponed beyond March 2021 and after the exam, results will be released by June, enabling them to begin their academic activities for the GCE Advanced Level Examination in July 2021.
The Education Minister said that unlike the Advanced Level examination, the Examinations Department needs only nine days to hold the O/L examination.The Ministry is currently in the process of selecting a suitable nine days to hold the exam in March 2021.
He said the relevant officials of Education Ministry, the Examinations Department, Health Ministry and other relevant authorities every two weeks to review the pandemic situation to finalise the date to hold the examination.
The Education Minister highlighted that measures, such as allocating selected examination centres for paper marking, increase in payment for paper marking, and necessary health precautions, are being prepared for the examinations.
“A total 621,000 students are eligible to sit for the examinations and the key reason to postpone the exams was due to only 5100 schools from 10,165 schools in the island being able to reopen at present. So it is unfair to hold the examination in January,” the Minister said.
There will be 154 examination centres in the Colombo District and around 24,600 students are scheduled to sit for the examination in those examination centres. As a result of this, it is not practical to use additional examination centers with the advice of medical experts.
Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera said the Ministry has also planned a special programme to obtain information with regard to 54 subjects from teachers to find out to what extent the relevant syllabus has been covered at the classroom level or under the online system for the Grade 11 students who are appearing for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination this year.
Examinations Commissioner General Sanath Poojitha said the results of the recently held GCE Advanced Level Examinations will be released in four months.
The Examinations Department has commenced marking answer scripts of the examinations in thirteen centres from November 25. The process commenced in 410 more centres in Anuradhapura, Badulla, Batticaloa, Galle, Jaffna, Kandy, Kegalle, Matara, Ratnapura, and Vavuniya.
The Examinations chief further said another 500 more centres will commence marking answer scripts of the GCE Advanced Level examinations from December 5.