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Delegating Education Decision Making to Provinces is a Constitutional MandateNot a Discretion for the Ministry of Education We are pleased to note that that the Ministry of Education has delegated policymaking during the fuel crisis to provincial authorities with decisions on keeping school opened delegated down to the school level with oversight by zonal authorities. Additionally, ministry has also announced delegating teacher deployment responsibilities to Provincial authorities with exceptions regarding national schools. While we are pleased with these developments, we wish to reiterate that the Constitution indeed delegates “supervision of management of state schools” and other responsibilities to the provinces. Further, duties and functions of the Minister for Education, as per the latest gazette or ones before, do not entail decision-making regarding schools. As stated in the latest gazette, the duties and functions of the Minister for Education is “Formulation of policies, programs and projects, monitoring and evaluation in regard to the subject of education and those subjects that come under the purview of Departments, Statutory Institutions and Public Corporations listed in the gazette.
A free webinar “Private Sector Role in Enhancing K-12 Education in Sri Lanka” will be held by Sri Lanka Singapore Business Council (SLSBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce online via zoom from 2:30pm to 3:45pm on Wednesday 23rd March 2022. The panelists will include Dr. Sujata Gamage (Senior Research Fellow of LIRNEasia), Dr. Harsha Alles(Chairman, Gateway Group, and Member, Presidential task Force on Education Reform), and Dr. Upali M.
වසංගතයෙන් පසු අධ්‍යාපනය | பிளேக்கிற்குப் பிறகு கல்வி A policy dialogue on “ Education Post-Pandemic”‘ was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on 26th March 2022, via Zoom.  Watch the Policy Dialogue: Video PRESENTATIONS Transforming Education for All Post COVID-19 – Ms. Takaho Fukami, Chief of Education, UNESCO Survey on the Impact of Covid-19 on Education in Sri Lanka – Ms. Gayani Hurulle, Senior Research Manager, LIRNEasia DISCUSSION  With designated responses from: – Mr. Harshana Perera, Asian International School, Colombo – Ms.
සම්ප්‍රදායක් ලෙස සියලුම ගුරුවරියන් විසින් සාරියක් ඇඳ සේවයට එන පාසලක් වන ෂන්මුගා හින්දු කාන්තා විද්‍යාලයේ (SHLC) ගුරුවරුන් පිරිසක් සේවය කිරීමට අබායා ගවුම ඇඳීමට පටන් ගැනීමත් සමඟ විරසකයක් ඇති වී ඇත.. මුස්ලිම් ගුරුවරුන් මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් නඩුවක් ගොනු කර අබායා ඇඳ පාසැලට පැමිණීමේ අයිතිය ලබා ජයග්‍රහණය කළ නමුත් ඔවුන් තවදුරටත් එම්ම පාසලේම සේවය කිඊමේ අයිතිය සඳහාද නැවත ආයාචනා කර ඇත. ඉංග්‍රීසියෙන් පලවූ ලිපියක ආචාර්ය අමීර් අලි පෙන්වා දෙන පරිදි, වාර්ගික සහජීවනය පිළිබඳ විශාල ප්‍රශ්නයේ නාමයෙන් ඔවුන් පසු බැස වෙනත් පාසලකට මාරුවක් ඉල්ලා සිටිය යුතුව තිබුණි. “නඩුව ජයග්‍රහණය කර ඔවුන්ගේ තර්කය ඔප්පු කිරීමෙන් එම ගුරුවරුන් SHLC සම්ප්‍රදායන්ට ගරු කර, ස්වේච්ඡාවෙන් වෙනත් පාසලකට මාරු කරනු ලැබුවේ නම්, ආරවුල අමනාපයකින් තොරව සහ තොරව සාමකාමීව විසඳා ගැනීමට ඉඩ තිබුණි.
A rift was created when a group of teachers started wearing the abaya to work at Shanmuga Hindu Ladies College (SHLC), a school where all female teachers wore a saree. Sri Lankan Muslim women had a long tradition of wearing a saree, with one end used to cover their head, until some returning home after working in the Middle East introduced the abaya. The muslim teachers filed a fundamental rights case and they won, but If tensions were not high enough, the teachers appealed to force SHLC to let them back in to the school whose traditions they just turned upside down. As Prof. Ameer Ai points out they should have backed down and requested a transfer to another school, in the name of the larger issue of racial harmony.
Press Release #14: Open letter to Derana TV on the Responsibility of the media for Social Cohesion | සමාජ සංහිදියාව පිළිබඳ මාධ්‍ය වගකීම මතක් කරමින් අද දෙරණ TV වෙත විවෘත ලිපියක් The government is poised to launch major reforms in education. One of the key objectives is to impart social-emotional learning and cultural skills to our children so that co-existence and lasting cohesion will be a reality in Sri Lanka as per our national objectives of education. Children spend only six hours per day in school for a limited number of days in a year. The society in which they live shapes their values as much as education, or more so. Popular media too plays a critical role.
EFSL Press Release #13: Let’s resolve to keep our children engaged in learning in 2022 | EFSL මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශන #13: එළඹුනු 2022 වසරේ අපේ දරුවන් නොනවත්වා අධ්‍යාපනයේ රඳවා ගැනීමට අධිෂ්ඨානය කර ගනිමු. January 1, 2022 Greetings for 2022 and thank you for staying with us during the last two years when the forum earnestly engaged in its core mission of catalyzing policy reforms in education. The onset of the pandemic in March 2020 shaped our work. We carried out nineteen policy dialogues during that period and shared our findings through press releases.  We looked at curricular reform, examinations, education funding, but the focus has been on keeping the school open during the pandemic.
EFSL PRESS RELEASE #12Access to low-cost testing kits is essential is to keep schools openedNovember 10, 2021 Perils of keeping schools closed are now universally acknowledged. In fact, the Worldwide Commission to Educate All Kids (post-pandemic) is calling for an international treaty that would be binding on countries to not close schools except during extreme natural disasters or war. Countries around the world have reopened schools after 20 months but the challenge of keeping them open remains. After evaluating the strategies adopted by countries across the world, we propose the following set of actions for the Government of Sri Lanka. To minimize infections: • Complete vaccinating all eligible children, teachers, and other adults in schools • Continue to emphasize sanitation and distancing requirements • Make available a stock of low-cost, rapid antigen test kits for self-testing • Allow school level decision making with oversight by the divisional Medical Officer of Health (MoH) Many countries like India, Singapore, the UK, Israel, Canada are routinely using self-test antigen kits.
විභාග: අද හා ඉදිරිය | தேர்வுகள்: இன்று மற்றும் எதிர்காலம் A policy dialogue on “ Examinations: Present and Future”‘ was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on 16th, October 2021, via Zoom. LINKS:  PD #19  (In Sinhala) PRESENTATIONS:  National Student Assessment Framework – Commissioner-General Examinations, Mr. Sanath Pujitha (15-20 minutes)  Assessments & Examinations during the Pandemic· Mr. Harshana Perera, Principal, Asian International School – (15 min)· Mr. Lal Dissanyake, Director, Matugama Education Zone· Mr.
The urgency of getting children back to school at the first opportunity is accepted worldwide, but Covid-19 has also brought three other issues to the fore internationally – (1) Ethics of conducting competitive examinations when significant portions of the students have been left out of education (2) Wisdom of continuing same old education when a full return to normalcy is not in sight (3) The need for combining face-2-face and distance mode of teaching and learning as the new normal. Meanwhile here in Sri Lanka, our Ministry of Education goes about as if it is business as usual.  Dates for exams are scheduled, postponed, and rescheduled. There seems to be no intention of seeking alternatives to the “covering the syllabus to prepare children for exams” approach to education. While we appreciate the government’s initiatives in the health front to reopen schools, we cannot be happy about the pedagogical aspects.