A father from Wewegoda, Bataatha sold his canoe – the only source of his income – to educate his daughter.
According to a report in ‘The Island’, Hungama Wijayaba National School allegedly asked for fee of Rs4,000 each from 130 students entering its GCE (A/L) in 2013.
SH Chandrasena, 40, was quoted by the paper as saying: “I make a living by fishing. My eldest daughter attended the Bataatha Junior School and there she got through nine subjects at the G.C.E Ordinary Level examination. Since this school does not have Advanced Level classes, she had to be admitted to Hungama Wijeyaba National School. So we submitted an application and at the interview we were informed that the school was overcrowded and there was a need to put up a new building for the Advanced Level classes.
"The school also required new desks and chairs, for which the school required money. Then we were summoned for a second interview at which we were told that whether the child got nine passes or 25 passes she would not be admitted without the payment of Rs4,000. Therefore, as we had nothing else to pawn or sell I sold the canoe for Rs10,000 and paid Rs4,000 to the school. Thereafter, we repaired an old broken desk and a chair in the school for our daughter’s use", he said