Principal: Mr W. A. JanakaBelummahara Rahula Vidyalaya is a small school in Gampaha district in Sri Lanka. It has 375 students studying under a small group of academic, management and support staff. Currently classes are held from year 1 to 11 where 36 students are getting ready to face the GCE OL exam this year.
Teachers deserve respect and recognition  | ගුරුවරුන්ට හිමි ගෞරවය හා පිළිගැනීම වහාම ලබා දෙන්න Press Release, July 22, 2021 (Please scroll down for Sinhala and Tamil versions | සිංහල හා දෙමළ නිවේදන සඳහා පහලට යන්න) We are dismayed to see that the teachers and principals had to launch a strike at this difficult time, but their grievances are understandable. Whilst we endorse their claim for higher wages, what we we wish to highlight here is the lack of trust and respect shown towards our teachers by authorities. The latest is a news item which said that the Ministry has established a program which calls on teachers and principals to issue weekly reports after evaluating students and appoints education instructors to supervise teacher performance on a regular basis. This kind of scrutiny on teachers is totally unnecessary and unacceptable. Teachers have been reaching out to students on their own since March 2020 without being recognized, rewarded or guided by the authorities.
A policy dialogue on “What should be our policy on English Education”  was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on July 10th, 2021, via Zoom. LINKS:Full Video: PD#17, 2 hours  6 minutes (In Sinhala) PRESENTATIONS 5:00 – 5:10 Welcome and Introduction (Dr. Sujata Gamage, Co-founder, Education Forum Sri Lanka) 5:10 – 6:10 Panel Discussion moderated by Dr. Sujata Gamage Dr. Darshana Samaraweera, Deputy Director-General, National Institute of Education Dr.
Naming dates for exams is not enough; Ministry should have a plan to get students ready.Media Release, July 12, 2021 (In English/Sinhala/Tamil) The government announced a few days ago that the Grade 5 scholarship examination will be held on October 03 and the GCE Advanced Level examination from October 04 to October 31. Then we hear that the decision would be reversed. Unfortunately, except for these kinds of last-minute announcements which are then withdrawn, we have yet to hear a consistent policy on examinations and assessments or the education process during a pandemic from our Ministry of Education. Institutions including the World Health Organization (WHO) have long maintained that the epidemic will persist well into 2022 if not after.
July 1, 2021 HE the President, Gotabhaya Rajapakse Hon Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapakse MP] Hon Minister of Education, Prof GL Peiris  MP Hon Leader of the Opposition, Sajith Premadasa  MP Members of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Education Covid Education Crisis We write to draw your attention to the serious situation faced by the 4.3 million student population in this country since March 2020 when the pandemic first appeared. There has not been any education for them  in the last 15 months except for a few weeks when schools opened briefly, and a façade of online education received by a few at other times. We have listed below some of the grave consequences of long-term school closures: Due to an undue reliance on online education, more than half the children are left out of contact with their schools. Left without guidance, teachers have adopted social media such as WhatsApp to send out notes and assignments connecting with whoever they could, even though the Census Department reported in 2019 that only 29% of the population accessed the Internet.
  A policy dialogue on “Emergency Preparedness of Schools” was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on June 5th, 2021, via Zoom. LINKS: Full Video: PD#16, 2 hours 32 minutes (In English) PRESENTATIONS Current situation and the future, Argentina – Dr Silvina Gvirtz, Former Minister of Education, Buenos Aires Province, Buenos Aires | Video Education policy in the era of Covid-19, the case of Israel – Prof. Izhar Oplatka, School of Education, Tel Aviv University | Video Pakistan’s strategy for emergency preparedness, Ms Baela Raza Jamil, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, Pakistan | Video English schools’ response to Covid-19, Dr Katya Saville, University College London, UK | Video Emergency preparedness of schools, Mr Gareth Manning, Think Global School | Video   POLICY BRIEF Panelists gave a vivid picture of the situation in each country and concluded with their own take on emergency preparedness. First, we present a set of recommendations abstracted from their  presentations and present each country context next.
A Roadmap for Reopening Schools | පාසැල් නැවත ඇරීම සඳහා මාර්ග සැලැස්මක් | பாடசாலைகளை மீண்டும் திறப்பதற்கான ஒரு திட்டவரைபடம் We are in the thick of a pandemic, but relief is on the horizon thanks to science. More and more vaccines are becoming available and self-tests for Covid-19 are becoming cheaper. This is exactly the time for Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Education and Provincial authorities to get into action with a roadmap in hand. Following is a roadmap based on our previous ten-point policy for mitigating the Covid education crisis of children being out of school for 16+ months. 1.
Do not let the Covid education crisis become a generational catastrophe  |  කෝවිඩ් අධ්‍යාපන අර්බූදය පරම්පරා ගණනකට  බලපාන අධ්‍යාපන ඛේදවාචයක් වෙන්න දෙන්න එපා.  |  கோவிட் கல்வி நெருக்கடியானது தலைமுறையினர்களை பாதிக்கும் கல்வி சோகமாக மாற ஒரு போதும் இடமளிக்க வேண்டாம். Dr. Tara de Mel The whole world is in the middle of a pandemic. Beginning around March 2020, schools across the world had to close at once, for first time since World War II.
A policy dialogue on “Reopening schools and education delivery until then” was held by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) on May 15th, 2021, via Zoom. LINKS: Full Video: PD#15, 2 hours 33  minutes (In Sinhala) PRESENTATIONS Dr. Tara de Mel, Former Secretary, Ministry of Education Ms. Renuka Peiris, Former Director, Health and Safety, Ministry of Education Mr. R.
Ten-Point Policy for Mitigating the Covid Education Crisis | කෝවිඩ් අධ්‍යාපන අර්බුදයට මුහුණ දීමට අට වැදෑරුම් ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් | கோவிட் கல்வி நெருக்கடிக்கு முகங்கொடுக்க 10 உந்துவதற்கான கொள்கை அம்சங்கள் May 07, 2021 [English write up is followed by Sinhala and Tamil versions] We have a Covid Education Crisis. The school education system in Sri Lanka has been dysfunctional for 15 months. The epidemic has left >50% of students uncontactable, and those who are contacted experience one-way communication with content delivered to them over social media like WhatsApp. Only 5% received a real-time online education experience using software such as Zoom or Teams.  Education Forum Sri Lanka calls upon the Ministry of Education Sri Lanka and Provincial Departments of Education to recognize and act on the following without delay:   Content delivered over TV, WhatsApp or in print form is not education: The archaic transmission mode of education practiced in the Sri Lankan education system came to the fore during COVID-19.