A National Committee will be tasked with formulating a new education system that would cater to the present demands and a development oriented outlook.
On President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s direction, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha has entrusted the formulation of a new Education Act for General Education in Sri Lanka to this National Committee to overhaul the outdated education set up and replace it with a system that keeps pace with the developing trends.
The current education system was formulated under the provision of Education Ordinance No. 31 of 1939. This is now outdated and obsolete and does not cater to modern requirements.
Addressing the media yesterday, Premajayantha pointed out that a National Education Act based on a clear policy on General Education is an urgent need for both efficient implementation of educational reforms and future developments in education considering equity, quality, efficiency and good governance of education.
Speaking on the ‘Current Legal Base’ and the proposed framework for the New Education Act, National Committee Chairman Dr. G. B. Gunawardena said the committee would consider the sectors of `Guiding principles, education system, structure & process, education standards & quality assurance, developing the skills of teachers and other educational personnel, education administration & leadership and financing education & provisions of resources.
Under the section ‘Education system, structure & process’ the committee will attend to restructuring the schools system.
According to the prevailing disparities, there are four categories of schools called National, Navodya, Amity and Isuru. Apart from these, schools are categorised into Cluster, Rationalisation, Closure of Schools, Small Schools classified as 1-5, 1-11, 1-13, 6-13. Therefore this overlapping classification will be considered to classify into 1-5 and 6-13, Dr. Gunawardena said.
The Chairman said the Committee holds the view of consultation, compromise and consensus with persons in various fields allied to education and other discerning stakeholder is imperative to generate ideas in this regard.
“We invite all interested parties including political parties, educationists, knowledgable personnel, intellectuals and others to forward their views aiming to formulate a new Education Act which will be suitable for present and future trends in the education sector,” he said.
By DHARMA SRI ABEYRATNE