søndag 20. mars 2022

Sri Lanka cancels school exams over paper shortage as financial crisis bites

Sri Lanka has cancelled school exams for millions of students after running out of printing paper, as the country contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948. Education authorities said on Saturday the term tests, scheduled a week from Monday, were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage, with Colombo short on funds to finance imports. “School principals cannot hold the tests as printers are unable to secure foreign exchange to import necessary paper and ink,” the Department of Education of the Western Province said.

Official sources said the problem could hold up tests for around two thirds of the country’s 4.5 million students. Term tests are part of a continuous assessment process to decide if students are promoted to the next grade at the end of the year. A debilitating economic crisis brought on by a shortage of foreign exchange reserves to finance essential imports, has seen the country run low on food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

The cash-strapped south Asian nation of 22 million announced this week that it will seek an IMF bailout to resolve its worsening foreign debt crisis and shore up external reserves.