A seminar on “Private sector and civil society responses to the problem of year-1 school admissions” was held on July 9, 2005, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI), Colombo. The seminar was organized by the Education Forum at the Pathfinder Foundation and co-sponsored by the SLFI. There were 27 persons attending. Others invitees sent their regrets or posted their comments on “Year 1 Admissions” post on this site. Some of the actionable ideas that came from the discussion are summarized here.
1. The root of the Year 1 Admissions problems is the under-supply of desirable schools for parents with young children. Every parent wants what is perceived to be the best for their child.
2. There are several options for increasing the supply of desirable schools.
- twinning between popular schools and other seemingly failing schools
- public-private-partnerships where the private sector takes over the management of a failing school in
- continued expansion of private education opportunities through Lyceum, Gateway, Ceylinco and other private providers.
We did not have time to discuss affordability and equity and other issues. Sometimes the best way to learn is to learn from others’ experience or through one’srown actions.
Therefore, our next steps will likely involve
- Forming an advisory group to guide us through our activities
- Expanding the concept paper using case studies
- Planning and implementing one or more small projects to try out some the ideas for increasing the supply.
Hope you all will stay with us and continue to give your inputs.
PS: A draft transcript of the proceedings is available.
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