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Sri Lanka faces paper shortage, school exams canceled for millions of students

Sri Lanka has officially canceled the conduction of paper exams for millions of students due to a paper shortage, as the country was not able to fund the import of printing paper.

Term tests are the deciding factor that will let the students continue their studies by getting promoted to another grade level. However, education authorities have indefinitely postponed the term tests for millions of students that were supposed to be conducted on March 28, stating that the country is heavily short on funds that it cannot finance the import of printing paper.

“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.

As Sri Lanka faces its worst financial-economic crisis since its independence in 1948, the country now also runs low on food, fuel, and pharmaceuticals.

To address the current issue, the government of Sri Lanka now asks for financial assistance from various external sources such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Last March 17, Thursday, Sri Lanka also formally entered into a credit agreement with India to secure $1 billion USD credit line to buy urgently needed resources such as food and medicine.

In addition, the IMF also confirms to consider the request of Sri Lanka President, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for a possible bailout, emphasizing that Sri Lanka should implement strategies to restore their financial stability and resolve their debts.

“We will discuss with the authorities how best we can assist Sri Lanka going forward,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka also asked one of its main creditors, China, for financial help, but China has not yet officially responded to this request.

At present, Sri Lanka has about $6.9 billion USD debt that needs to be paid off this year. However, its foreign currency reserves only stood at about $2.3 billion USD since February.

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