Prof. Wisawa Warnapala, minister for higher education, was invited to say a few words at the University Librarians Association annual conference on June 8th and he took nearly one hour to reminisce about the good old times, complain about the non-academic staff, faculty and lack of scholarship, students and lack of love of learning and many other ills of the university system. Then he went on (again*) to stress the need for a vision, mission, goals objectives etc. This is coming from a man who, on his own admission, has been in positions of power in the academia for decades, and then since 1996 or so, in politics. He is not the only one in power to complain and not to do anything.
A speech made by Prof. Wiswa Warnapala – Minister of Higher Education at the Conference of Vice Chancellors held at the University Grants Commission on May 4, 2007 SPEECH: The purpose of this meeting is to enter into an active dialogue with the Vice Chancellors of the Universities of Sri Lanka, and the primary aim of the dialogue is to make use of the experience of the distinguished Vice Chancellors in formulating a new Higher Education policy for the country. The objectives of Higher Education, due to a wide variety of reasons, have undergone a change, and the university system, which came into existence in 1921 with the establishment of a University College which was later elevated to the status of a fully-fledged University in 1942, fulfilled its tasks and the system expanded to such an extent that Sri Lanka has a fairly developed university system which has had a considerable influence on the intellectual life of the country. With this expansion and the nature of its contribution, no proper policy perspectives have been advanced to bring about changes in the system to make it more meaningful and relevant. In other words, the system did not expand in relation to […]
COLOMBO: President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the teaching community to serve the poor and the less-privileged students in the remotest areas of the country and thereby protect the country’s ‘Free Education’ mechanism. President Rajapaksa was speaking at the handing over of appointment letters to Diploma Holders in Teaching to 2,599 new diplomates. Making a symbolic handing over of appointment letters to a selected number of teachers who had successfully completed their training and qualified to receive the ‘Diploma in Teaching’ for 2007, the President asserted that his Government aims to provide equal opportunities in education to all, sans any irregularities, irrespective of one’s race, religion or region. “A deficiency of Tamil medium teachers did exist in the past, but we took immediate steps to remedy the shortage. We appointed Tamil stream teachers in the North-East and the estate schools.
By Deepal Warnakulasuriya Only half the G.C.E. Ordinary Level students who sat for the last year examination had qualified for the G.C.
by Kumar David The results of the December 2006 GCE O-level examinations are appalling but not in the least surprising. The writing has been on the wall for years.
Continuing with the post on “real issue is the pass rate at Grade 9,” I like go further and suggest that at this stage of development we need to spend our tax rupees on those completing Grade 1-9 basic education, and the rest should be asked to pay according to their means. (Yes, this means that all university students should be asked to pay something for their education, if not now, but later as they do with the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) in Australia). The labor force data for Sri Lanka are most revealing in this regard, particularly when you benchmark against another country. There are 9 major occupational categories. To make the following table I lumped three categories together (proprietors/managers;senior officials or managers; and professionals) for simplicity and then arranged Sri Lanka’s numbers in ascending order.
A comment by Kusal in this forum about linking education and development prompted me to write this. He is right on target. We often hear about the 20,000 who qualify for university every year and how few actually get in. Now the latest furor is about only 48% passing the O/L when the pass rate has actually been increasing over the years. The more important statistic, I believe, is the pass rate after Grade 9, the end of compulsory education in Sri Lanka.
This message is from the organisers of the festival. Shilpasarura is an education software package that is being disseminated through the Nenasala network of the ICT Agency, Sri Lanka. Dear All, As we have reached completion milestone in implementing Shilpa Sayura, and launching its phase II, we are organising a public and media event on June 14 and 15th. We shifted the venue furthest Nenasala in Uva (in reaching), to have a focus on village and to get the villagers involved in its proceedings. We also want village people to learn about ICT benefits to overcome digital divide.
This letter to the editor is from a Jamaican newspaper. The content, however, is very relevant to us in Sri Lanka. The Editor, Sir: How can we, in clear conscience, begrudge a few million dollars more for pre-tertiary education when we have chronically neglected quality education for so long while we splurge on far less important matters, waste and corruption? Moreover, our poorly-managed economy does not offer parents, particularly the many poor ones, employment opportunities enough for them to afford school fees of thousands of dollars, on top of the daily lunch, transport and books and incidentals. Education cannot wait until our fortunes improve; it’s a burning priority and must be accepted as such by all governments.
May 24, Colombo: Sri Lankan graduates have again started agitations seeking employment in the already swollen public service despite the promises by the government to grant them employment immediately. Around 200 unemployed graduates started a protest in front of the Sanath Jayasuriya stadium in Matara amidst chaos vowing to continue their campaign until employments are granted. Unemployed graduates of the Central Province have also launched a similar campaign for weeks. The Minister of Education Susil Prema Jayantha answering a question raised by an MP said to the parliament on Tuesday that 10,000 graduates would be recruited to the public service before the end of June. They include over 7,000 teachers.