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Govt to develop 400 schools

by Nadira Gunatilleke

Four hundred schools will be developed by the Education Ministry at a cost of Rs. 400 million under the Human Resources Development, Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku in order to ease the heavy demand for school admission at popular schools, a ministry official said.

He said that the schools will be developed under the Ministry's `Primary School Model Project'. During the first phase of this project 50 schools will be developed at a cost of Rs. 50 million within this year. The results of the year-five scholarship examination and the dedication of the teachers and principals of the schools will be considered when selecting schools for this project.

The ministry took a decision to develop a model primary school system to minimise the high demand for popular schools.

The demand is increasing annually, he added.

In 1998 the number of schools that had less than 50 students were 12 per cent and the percentage increased to 14 per cent by 2002. Only 30 schools in the country have more than 3,500 students.

The number of schools that has less than 50 students was 719 by 2002. The number of schools that has between 1 and 15 students are 184.

Only six schools have over 5,000 students.

Five thousand applications have been received by Royal College, Colombo for next year but only 400 students can be admitted. Four hundred applications have been received by Visakha College, Colombo for next year but only 200 students can be admitted.

Dharmaraja College and Mahamaya College, Kandy have also received about 4,000 applications

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