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 https://mailchi.mp/c97e331f9798/policy-dialogue-brief-16-emergency-preparedness-in-education 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.
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
Corona All schools in WP reopened COVID-19 â€“ 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 â€œrapedâ€ before media and the law Positive action to protect childrenâ€™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 Worldâ€™s First â€˜College-As-A-Serviceâ€™ 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 â€“ 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 […]