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Education News, November 2020

Posted on December 9, 2020  /  0 Comments

Policy Dialogues | Budget 2021 | Reopening of Schools | Grade 5 Scholarship and G.C.E. A/L Examinations Held | G.C.
Source: Daily Mirror <http://www.dailymirror.lk/front_page/Children-climb-on-to-60-feet-high-water-tank-for-online-education/238-200868> The above picture of students climbing a 60-foot water tank in order to access phone signal to engage in school classes highlights the difficulties that students across the country have faced over the past 9 months in engaging in distance education. As the year nears its end and plans for 2021 come underway, policy makers, government officials, educators and other relevant stakeholders need to consider the most viable, effective education-related solutions to ensure that no child is left behind. Although internet access is frequently hailed as the way forward (and it no doubt is an increasingly essential component of effective distance education) nation-wide internet coverage is not a solution that we can expect to be successfully implemented for the start of the new year.
To our knowledge, the non-state sector in higher education in Sri Lanka is largely undocumented. The only comprehensive survey available was carried out by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) in 2012 in partnership with LIRNEAsia and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The information is reposted here in the public interest. The higher education landscape is captured as a directory  of Higher education opportunities in Sri Lanka containing a listing of all degree programs offered by alternative higher education institutions or institutions that are outside the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC) mediated system of 14 public universities and affiliated Institutions. The alternative system consists of: 10 PUBLIC institutions which admit students on their own charging nominal to significant amounts as fees and offering 41 degree programs.
A dialogue reviewing the report was held on November 21, 2020, via Zoom LINKS Full Video: PD#9, 2 hours 30 minutes Documents: Summary PTF Report; Core Group Reports OVERVIEW: The education reform plan  of the Presidential Task Force is visionary and comprehensive,  but it does not address (1)  Strategies for effective implementation (2) Limitations such as political interference(3) Inefficiencies in administration, (4) Lack of empowerment of teachers, and the (5)  Reality of insufficient funding. A more strategic approach identifying a few pivotal strategies and how they can be implemented  is needed. EFSL will present a brief on such a strategic approach using the inputs from this dialogue. PRESENTATIONS School education – Dr. Tara De Mel, Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) Tertiary Education including  higher education – Prof Arjuna Parakrama, University of Peradeniya – IT enabled education – Ms.
Held on October 17, 2020, via Zoom VIDEO Link PRESENTATIONS Assessments in Primary Education  with a focus on  the Grade five Scholarship Examination in Sri Lanka Ms. Sanuja Goonetilleke and Dr. Sujata Gamage, Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) Review Panel Professor Angela Little, Professor Emerita at UCL Institute of Education, UK Dr. Longkai Wu, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Education, Singapore (Presentation) Mr. Muthu Sivagnanam, Former Director of Primary Education, Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka Moderator Dr.
Click here for the video. Prof. Veranja Karunarathna, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Peradeniya and Vice Chancellor of Slintec Academy, noted in his presentation that there has been a definite reduction in quality of graduate education over the years due to many factors, but showed that Sri Lanka does produce a high number of academic papers by graduate students and researchers per dollar invested in comparison to many countries. He also spoke on the negative impact of irregular appointments and promotions within universities; and the need for the appointment of Vice Chancellors to be on a merit-based system. The small number of PhDs conferred by Sri Lankan universities and the corresponding low amount of research was also a matter of concern in the global reputation of Sri Lankan universities.
Prof. Bal Chandra Luitel, School of Education, Kathmandu University (Translated from Nepalese by Bineeta Baral) Lock-down has changed every day life’s activity not only mine but everyone else.  If I have to talk about me, I used to reach the University around 11 am and stayed there until 6 pm and during evening classes until 8:30 pm.  I have now shifted my evening classes to the day time. They no go on from 3 pm to 5 pm.
Prepared by Niresh Eliatamby and Dr. Ruwan Dias, Cogitaro The important contemporary topic of ‘World Class Universities & Universal Higher Education: Can We Have It All?’ was the theme of the latest Education Policy Dialogue, organized by Education Forum Sri Lanka and held on Saturday 15th August 2020. The webinar provided insights and discussed challenges that would of much use to policymakers, university administrators and academics in charting the future of the Sri Lankan university system. It examined challenges to the competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s universities in the world of tertiary education and the way forward for Sri Lanka to enhance the quality of its universities in order to achieve the twin targets of widening the reach of university education throughout Sri Lanka and making the country a regional hub for knowledge.
අලුත් කැබිනෙට්ටුවේ අධ්‍යාපන විෂය පෙර වාර වල  à¶¸à·™à¶±à·Š තුන් අතකට නොකඩා එක් ඇමතිවරයකුටම  à¶¶à·à¶» දීලා තියෙනවා.. ඇත්තටම  à¶¸à·à¶½à·šà·ƒà·’යාව  හැරුණු කොට ආසියා කලාපයේ ඉන්දියාව, බංග්ලාදේශය, සිංගප්පූරුව, ඉන්දුනීසියාව, තායිලන්තය, දකුණු කොරියාව හා තායිවානය යන සෑම රටකම අධ්‍යාපන  à·€à·’ෂය භාරව සිටින්නේ ඒක ඇමති වරයකු පමණි. මැලේසියාවේ උසස් අධ්‍යපනය සඳහා වෙනම  à¶…මාත්‍යංශයක් තියෙනවා. අපේ රටත් ඒ පෙලට එක් වුනු ඒක ගැන සතුටුයි.
EFSL held a Policy Dialogue via zoom on Early Childhood Education and the way to move forward on Saturday, the 27th of June 2020. It was attended by primary school principals, researchers, university lecturers and teachers. Presenter:  Dr Ravi Nanayakkara, Project Director, Early Childhood Development Project, Ministry of Women & Child Affairs  Watch video here. Summary of presentation and discussion: Early Childhood is defined as period between 0-5 years 0-2 is home-based care and the Ministry of Health has on-going  programs using Public Health Nurses, Public Health Midwives and the Medical Officers of Health 3 to 5 years is the period that ECE usually operates Golden 1000 Days in a child’s life is critical, because brain growth is maximum during this period. About 85% of brain growth of an entire life happens during early childhood.