08/07/2018, 13.30
SRI LANKA
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Young Sri Lankans prepare for exams with the 'strength' of God's blessing

by Melani Manel Perera

Exams got underway yesterday until 1 September. Students pray to "keep our minds in balance and answer well to the questions”. A Mass was held in a Colombo parish to bless young students.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Exams for advanced education certification started yesterday. For many young Christians, training and memory are not enough. God's blessing is needed to give them greater "inner strength" to face the exams that provide access to universities.

"As much as we study without stopping, in the end we need God's blessing to keep our minds in balance and answer well to the questions," some female students told AsiaNews.

"In general, students who face these important exams that will shape their lives are very scared," says Nirmala Silva, a Catholic teacher in Colombo and responsible for exam verification.

"As Catholics we have the opportunity to pray to God and to all the saints. But before asking God's blessing, students have a great responsibility to study."

In the community and in Catholic schools it is traditional for a priest to bless the students before the exams, as often happens for Buddhist students in temples.

On 2 August, a Mass was held at St. Francis Xavier College in Wewala parish (Diocese of Colombo).

After the service, Fr Mano Ranjan de Silva blessed all the students. "May God the Father bless all these children who have studied well without sparing any effort and open their memory so that they give the right answers without fear or doubt."

Binali Pheshalika, a young Catholic, lost her father. Her mother works hard to earn a living for their family. She hopes for good marks thanks to this blessing.

In Sri Lanka, the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (G.C.E A/L) exams started yesterday in 2,268 centres for 321,469 candidates, and will continue until 1 September.

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