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The Sir John Kotelawela Defence Academy (KDA) established in 1980, with the specific purpose of grooming academically and professionally qualified officers for the three Armed services would be renamed Sir John Kotelawela Defence University (KDU) today by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Academy elevated to University status in 1988, is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka and has the reputation of being one of the best in South Asia, being a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.  The KDA which fulfils the education demands of Security Forces and related services, was originally established according to a proposal made by the three Service Commanders in 1978, and subsequently established in 1980 on a land donated by Sri Lanka’s third Prime Minister Sir John Kotelawela.  Chancellor Major General Dennis Perera who pioneered the cause of establishing the KDA in the 1970s as the Army Commander called it a revolution of military affairs at that time.  The Chancellor who paid tribute to the late Sir John Kotelawela said in keeping with the modern trend, the Forces’ Commanders had made this recommendation at that time for the establishment of the Academy to train officers of all three Forces under one roof.
A meeting was held between Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Education and the Country Director of the World Bank, Naoko Ishii, on October 02 at the Ministry of Education to negotiate for continuation of assistance to the Education Sector Development Framework and Programme (ESDFP). The Ministry of Education requested further assistance from the World Bank to scale up support for the activities that will promote multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society and for the rehabilitation and development of the education in conflict affected areas. Ariyaratne Hewage, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, and Dr. Harsha Aturupane, Senior Economist of the World Bank also took part at this meeting. The World Bank commended the Ministry of Education for the successful implementation of the ESDFP.
Every secondary school in England is to be partnered with a university, John Denham is to announce.  The universities secretary will announce the scheme as part of a drive to get more pupils from low-income families into higher education. It aims to encourage more children from poor families to stay in education to get A-levels or their equivalent. He will warn institutions that their reputation will be damaged if they draw students from a narrow social base. Statistics suggest that young people whose families are in the poorest 20% are five times less likely to go to university than their peers in the richest 20%.
Almost half of all children have had property stolen from them at school, a survey by the charity the Howard League for Penal Reform suggests.    The survey of more than 3,000 children, questioned between 1997 and 2006, also found that 18% had been the victim of theft on their way home from school.  It also suggests that 57% of children have had property deliberately damaged.  The charity claims that almost all – 95% – of those surveyed have suffered some kind of victimisation.  It refers mainly to low-level offences which took place in schools and playgrounds – 70% said they had been hit or kicked – and were unlikely to be reported to police.

Meet Mr. Minister of Education

Posted on October 9, 2007  /  16 Comments

Name – A.D. Susil Premjayanth   School – St. John’s College, Nugegoda   Civil Status – Ex-Banker, Attorney-at-law, Master of Public Administration (MPA). At present reading for the PhD in Business Administration.

Ending unemployment?

Posted on October 8, 2007  /  2 Comments

We normally do not run editorials from local newspapers here, but perhaps today’s editorial from ‘Daily News’ raises some interesting points which we believe needs further discussion. This reproduction does not mean we agree or disagree with any of the points raised. (Question mark in the tile is added by us) – Ed ________________________________________________________________________ A THRIVING DEMOCRACY, Sri Lanka allows free expression of ideas. Protests and strikes have thus become part and parcel of our political landscape. Unfortunately, they have almost supplanted the other time-honoured way of resolving disputes – negotiations.
Students of the tsunami devastated Devapathiraja Vidyalaya, Rathgama who are in temporary sheds are dreaming of well facilitated classrooms assured in the couple of new buildings that majestically stand opposite to them but reality seems far away due to the sluggish construction process.Nearly 2,000 students are in the national school. They were once battered by the tsunami in 2004 and since then they are constantly battling with rain and scorching sun, Junior Past Pupils’ Association’s Vice President D.Amarajeewa Rajakaruna said. Following repeated requests by the Association, the Japanese Government agreed to provide Rs.
(LeN, 2007 Oct 05 6.20 PM) Police attacked the Yovun Diriya job prospective graduates with tear gas, water jets and baton charges today. The graduates were sitting in the Colombo Fort Telecom roundabout since yesterday protesting peacefully. The Chairman of the Graduates Collective Prasad Bandara Herath said to ‘LeN’ that 20 protesters were hospitalized and around 20 more have been taken into police custody. The male, female and bhikku protesters as well as the commuters, pedestrians and the shop dwellers were put in severe inconvenience by the police assault.
(Lanka-E-news, 2007 Oct 04, 9.30 PM) Two thousand and eighty eight job expecting graduates who were trained under Tharuna Aruna program commenced a sit in campaign near the Telecom roundabout today (04) morning. The Chairman of the Graduates Collective Prasad Bandara Herath said to Lanka-e-News that none of the 2088 graduates were granted jobs despite the promises of the Ministers and the Presidential Secretary. He said that this was the seventh protest campaign and if the President would not give a satisfactory solution to their problems a fast unto death would be commenced tomorrow and it can end up with setting ablaze to the bodies. The secretary of the union Thilak Rasnayaka said that the current Ministers were ushered to their positions by them and neither a Minister nor a secretary nor a single adviser came to talk to them.
The Education Forum held the first of its discussion series on education (in Sinhala and Tamil) yesterday, Oct 4, 2007, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. The first featured presentation (Presentation_IUSF) was by Duminda Nagamuwa of the inter University Federation of Students. He gave a succinct presentation about the crisis in education cutting down an original 48 slides to 12 , respecting our request to limit the presentation to 20 minutes. There was agreement that we have a crisis in education, although we did not have time to debate the statistics presented. More important was the lively debate that followed on the roots of the crisis.