Wednesday, 18 February 2004  
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GCE Advanced Levels from May 6-31

by Manjula Fernando

The 2004 GCE Advanced Level examination will be held from May 6 to 31 and the marking of answer scripts is to be completed by the first week of June, Education Minister Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku officially announced yesterday.

The examination which was to be held from April 2 in two stages was postponed due to the forthcoming general and North Western provincial council elections.

'Owing to the Wayamba provincial council election, the Education Ministry has decided to split the first term holiday in two to minimise the damage on academic activities, Minister Kodituwakku told the weekly Cabinet press briefing.

Hence, the first term holidays will begin on March 30. The second term will commence on April 19 for all schools other than those in the North Western Province. Again the schools will be closed from April 30 to June 3 in view of the GCE AL examination. The second term will end on August 20.

The third term will be from August 30 to December 10.

"The schools should have at least 210 days in the academic calendar but the schools had been open for only 194 days for the past two years."

"It has been less in the previous years and due to the delay in the GCE AL exam we will have to restrict the school days to about 160 days this year, Dr. Kodituwakku said adding that this was below their expected 200 day calendar for 2004.

Meanwhile, the Examinations Commissioner Mahinda Wijayasiri in response to a question on the possibility of opening schools not used as exam centres during the exam period said it was not possible since a considerable number of teachers will be deployed for examination work.

He explained although only 1700 schools will be used as exam centres, over 25,000 teachers will be deployed as examination staff. "Hence, it will be difficult to continue academic work during the examination period."

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