Ministry refutes reports of drop in school uniform vouchers

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Education Ministry yesterday refuted as false and baseless reports that it had reduced the value of uniform vouchers distributed among students for the year 2020.

The Ministry in a media statement said three grades of uniform vouchers had been distributed among lay students and two grades of uniform vouchers had been distributed among student bhikkhus in six varieties.

The total value of vouchers distributed among all students for 2020 was equal to that of 2019.

The statement said the government had allocated Rs. 1,500 million for the distribution of uniforms this year. The value of vouchers which was Rs. 500 for each student in Grades 1 to 5 in 2017 and 2018 had been increased to Rs. 525 in 2020.

The value of each voucher for female students which was Rs. 400, Rs. 720 and Rs. 600 in previous years had been increased to Rs. 440, Rs. 745 and Rs. 645 since 2019.

The value of each voucher for students in Grades 6 to 9 which was Rs. 525 earlier had been increased to Rs. 580.

The value of each voucher for frock, skirt and jacket, and purda which was Rs. 500, Rs. 700 and Rs. 750 respectively earlier, had been increased to Rs. 580, Rs. 850 and Rs. 730 since 2019.

Earlier a voucher valued at Rs. 700 was granted to male students in Grades 10 to 13 to purchase trousers and shirts. This had been increased to Rs. 795.

The value of each voucher for frock, half saree, and skirt and blouse granted to female students in Grades 10 to 13 which was Rs. 600, Rs. 800, Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 800 in 2016 had been increased to Rs. 645, Rs. 850, Rs. 1,065 and Rs. 850. In 2016, a voucher valued at Rs. 1,300 was granted for bhikkhu students in Grades 1 to 7 to purchase robe material; this had been increased to Rs. 1,375.

The value of each voucher for bhikkhu students in Grades 8 to 13 which was Rs. 1700 had been increased to Rs. 1,800.

An advisory relating to the manner in which school heads should act in the voucher distribution process has already been forwarded to all schools. Students and their parents could use these vouchers to purchase uniform material from any shop or distributor of their choice. Principals or other officials could not order any student or parent to purchase them from any particular person or business house.

Any complaints regarding this matter could be made to the Education Ministry on hotline 1988.

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