Avanti Arseculeratne


A policy dialogue on “Decentralizing Education Management to School Level” was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on April 10th, 2021, via Zoom. LINKS: Full Video: PD#14, 2 hours 37 minutes PRESENTATIONS Decentralizing education management to school levels: How much & how? – Dr. Jayantha Balasuriya From the perspective of an Assisted school that made the journey to being a fee-levying private school – Mrs. Shanthi Dias

Education News March 2021

Posted on April 12, 2021  /  1 Comments

Corona All schools in WP reopened COVID-19 – Global Education Recovery Tracker launched Schools in Jaffna Education Zone closed for week All grades in schools, pre-schools in WP open tomorrow WP schools attendance satisfactory, as students return for lessons Schools in WP to commence tomorrow for grades 5, 11 and 13 Seventeen O/L student candidates in CP test COVID positive All Catholic pvt, Intl. schools to open on Apr. 5: Archdiocese UGC, health authorities in talks to open state unis under COVID guidelines Child Welfare Man gets 12 year RI for sexual abuse on underage girl In Sri Lanka an abused child gets “raped” before media and the law Positive action to protect children’s rights Every fifth child faces water scarcity globally: Unicef report Teachers President wants teacher vacancies filled immediately President wants teacher vacancies filled immediately Ed. unions against unqualified SLEAS officers as school principals Ed. Ministry to hold open online exams to recruit teachers Tamil medium teachers in short supply in Western province schools: CTU New plan to hire teachers for rural schools; practical exams will be held for selection Government to absorb Trainee Graduates into Permanent Service today Elevating English language education in the South: Smart classroom […]
A policy dialogue on “Mainstreaming Social-Emotional Learning” was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on March 13th, 2021, via Zoom. LINKS: Full Video: PD#13, 2 hours 29 minutes PRESENTATIONS Why Social-Emotional Learning – Dr. Anantha Duraiappah Mindfulness and Science Behind It – Dr. Tara de Mel Enabling environment approach for achieving SDG 4.7 objectives – Mr.
COVID-19 Random RATs in schools: Edu. Ministry Teachers trade unions request vaccination priority for O/L duty and primary teachers Request for O/L exam staff to receive COVID vaccines disregarded Over 39 billion in-school meals missed since start of pandemic: UNICEF-WFP Report State university medical students to be vaccinated soon: UGC Chairman All schools in WP to reopen after O Level exams Ed Tech Sri Lankan Initiates World’s First ‘College-As-A-Service’ Platform Distance education is not an alternative for classroom education Exams Edu. Ministry to reconsider Grade 5 exam cut off marks O/L practical tests to be held from March 1 to 11 O/L results released by June this year: Minister A/L results will be released in April: Minister Child welfare Mental health to be given priority at schools and universities: Education Minister COPE recommends expeditious implementation of a National Policy on Child Protection Corporal punishment not a justifiable means to discipline – SC General School Education Emotional intelligence into school curriculum Prominent schools for students talented in sports Official ceremony of Grade 01 student admission today First school term of 2021 ends tomorrow Universities President hands over laptops to concessionary students of university admissions Recruitment of 500 University lecturers in progress […]
Protests about Year-1 admission, Grade Five cut-off marks and corruption in school admissions in the news are all driven by the desire of parents to give the best possible education to their children. Government’s solution seems to be to open more national schools (or schools controlled by the center). Minister Susil Premajayanth has even stated that provincial schools will be converted to national schools in stages. However, it is an open secret that national schools or otherwise will not be what they are if not for additional resources brought in by influential or wealthy parents and/or alumni makes some schools more popular than others. According to an alumnus, Royal College receives Rs: 15,000 from the government to cover electricity costs but the school’s electricity bill is 3-4 lakhs a month.
Schools across England are set to open on Monday March 8.  They will be using multiple levels of testing to ensure the safety of the students. The plan is for all staff at levels and  all students in secondary and college levels (excepting primary level)  to be tested three times before they are allowed to return to school. After they return, all  (except primary students) will be given a  rapid  test called a Lateral Flow Test for self-administering at home twice a week. School closures have not only had negative impacts on school dropout rates for poorer children, but have also seen negative impacts on nutritional intake (due to missing school meals) and additional hardships endured by the  children in the plantation sector.
COVID-19 Sri Lanka school dropout crisis of poor kids could worsen from Coronavirus: think tank Higher education and the pandemic: Key trends to watch in 2021 [Education Times, January 17]  Rs. 105 million on COVID safety measures at schools – Prof. G.L. Peiris US to provide health rooms to 120 schools School Reopening Tuition classes to recommence on 25 Jan.
A policy dialogue on “Inequities in funding schools” was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on February 13th, 2021, via Zoom. LINKS: Full Video: PD#12, 2 hours 30 minutes Mini clips: Presentations: Funding Mechanisms – Line Ministry, Dr. Madura Wehella, Additional Secretary Policy and Planning Ministry of Education Possible Funding Mechanisms – Provincial Authorities, Mr. Kathiresan Suwarnarajah, Former President Vavuniya National Colleges of Education & Mr Muttu Rathakrishnan, Zonal Education Director, Vavuniya The Little School that Could (තවත් සිප් හලක තතු),  Mr. W.
A policy dialogue on “Bottom-up Solutions to the Grade 1 Admission Problem” was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on January 16, 2021, via Zoom. LINKS: Full Video: PD#11, 2 hours 23 minutes Mini clips: Documents: PRESENTATIONS: Grade One school admissions is a serious national issue – Dr Tara de Mel Responses by: Mr. Lal Dissanayake (former principal Gampaha Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, & ZED Matugama W) Ms. SR Hasanthi, Director, Maha Oya Education Zone, EP Mrs Dilekha Kudachchi, Senior Assistant Secretary,  Ministry of Education, SP OVERVIEW: Every year, beginning its cycle in June and ending in January of the following year, the issue of Grade 1 Admissions rears its head, posing problems for parents, teachers, principals and education administrators alike. Among Sri Lanka’s 373 national schools, around 70 (less than 20%) are considered ‘popular’ schools, having the highest demand, across districts such as Colombo, Kurunegala, Kandy, Galle, and Matara.
*All interview respondents have been given pseudonyms, and their places of work/study have been excluded due to the sensitive nature of the topic discussed. Since schools and universities shifted to remote learning in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the question of examinations – how and whether to conduct them – have yielded different answers from exam boards and ministries of education in different parts of the world. As noted in a World Bank blog post, whereas countries such as Norway cancelled written exams in junior high school and high school, Uttar Pradesh in India decided to promote students to the next grade without holding exams. Education boards such as Cambridge International opted to base final grades on predicted grades, and the Caribbean Examinations Council postponed its high school exams, basing marks from at least one newly designed multiple choice paper plus teacher assessments. Where exams and assessments have not been cancelled or postponed but conducted online, questions of academic integrity have risen to the fore.