The Scholarship Examination aka – the Grade 5 Scholarship exam is a highly competitive Sri Lankan examination conducted by the Department of Examinations of the Ministry of Education. It is optional for students to undertake it during the final year of primary school (Grade 5, usually ages 9-10). Based on the results of the exam, students could transfer to prominent national schools. This Exam is a means for gifted students from villages to move to better schools with government scholarships. Annually based on demand for individual schools, cut-off marks are set by the Ministry of Education.
In recent years the exam has become extremely competitive. Every parent likes to enroll their child to a popular good school in major cities. If they fail in the first round to enter their child to Grade 1, then their next goal would be to get a good school by preparing their child to obtain a high mark in Grade 5 Scholarship examination. In this Examination, students get direct raw mark, unlike other examinations. Therefore this may be the hardest exam in Sri Lankan school system, considering the age of the candidates.
Rose Charities Srilanka, under its Primary Enrichment Program has intended to improve; the access of low-income children to primary education, the quality of primary education through teacher training workshops and Integrate school drop-outs back into school.
RCSL helps students who are from areas of poor income generation and do not have the resources and access to gain practicable knowledge to prepare them for exam by conducting Enrichment classes after schools.
RCSL is not only focusing the Grade 5 students but also preparing grade 4 students in advance to sit for the Scholarship Exam in the year after.
Through these Enrichment Classes skills have been improved for primary teachers.
Re-integrate school drop-outs with expenses, such as school uniforms and books back into school.
RCSL has implemented the Primary Enrichment Program in 14 schools in the area with a total of 410 students in grade 5 and 11 schools with 314 students in grade 4.
- Kalaimagal Vidyalayam, Vellavely (Grade 4 Enrichment Classes)
- Kanapathipuram Vidyalayam, Malwatta (Grade 4 Enrichment Classes)
- Holy Cross Vidyalayam, SoriKalmunai (Grade 4 Enrichment Classes)
- Kalaimagal Vidyalayam, Veppayadi (Grade 4 & 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Kannagi Hindu Vidyalayam, Karaitivu (Grade 4 & 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Saraswathy Vidyalayam, Neelawanai (Grade 4 & 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Maha Vishnu Vidyalayam, Pandiruppu (Grade 4 & 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Vipulananda Maha Vidyalayam, Malwatta (Grade 4 & 5 Enrichment Classes)
- G.T.M. School, Puthunagar (Grade 4 & 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Pulavarmani Sherifudin Vidyalayam, Maruthamunai (Grade4&5Enrichment Classes)
- Al/Maslam Vidyalayam, Nintavur (Grade 4 & 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Sri Sakthi Vidyalayam, Navithanvely (Grade 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Annamalai Maha Vidyalayam, Navithanvely (Grade 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Vinayagar Vidyalayam, Addappalam (Grade 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Gazzaly Muslim Vidyalayam, Sammanthurai (Grade 5 Enrichment Classes)
- RKM Girls School, Karaitivu (Grade 5 Enrichment Classes)
- Al/Ashraf Maha Vidyalayam, Mavadipalli (Grade 5 Enrichment Classes)
Due to the unexpected heavy rain and flooding in the district in the beginning of the year, the commencing of the program had to be postponed. The Primary enrichment classes for grade 5 students started in February and came to completion in June, 2011. The Grade 5 students who underwent the enrichment classes have sat for the Government Exams in the later part of August, 2011. The result of this exam was released in October, 2011 which shows the actual outcome of the program.
The 2nd phase of the Primary Enrichment Program for Grade 4 students has been started in July and ended in November, 2011.
Daily enrichment classes in subjects such as Tamil, Mathematics, English, Environment and Singhala were held by teachers who have been trained in primary education. The classes were conducted after the regular school hours. Along with review of model questions, examinations and evaluations of the student’s progress were maintained by the teachers. RCSL’s Community Support Workers visit centers and issue teaching materials and stationery required.
As a part of the conclusion of this enrichment classes some of the students who were unable to afford for educational materials were issued with past paper books. This has been done with the association of Dr.A.Jogarajah of Loyal Publications, Colombo. Book containing exam papers of past 10 years and model questions were issued to a number of students, who will sit for the Exams in August, 2011.
Analysis based on a set of indicators shows, through the Primary Enrichment Program the followings were achieved in 2011.
Improved primary school students’ ability to write exams
Increased the confidence level of students and reduce anxiety over Exams
Increased scores on Grade 5 Scholarship Exams
Increase in pass rate of students sitting for the Government Exams
Improvement in Grade 5 Scholarship Exam results in the area
Increase the amount of government scholarships awarded to students
A ceremony has been organized to mark the achievements of the students involved in primary enrichment classes and passed the Scholarship Examination in 2011. These students of various schools have been felicitated by RCSL. Students were given certificates of recognition and medals of honour during this function.