Posted on May 31st, 2010

By Ruwani Karunadasa (BSc.Agri)

Sri Lankan education system is another controversial government sector which has the tendency of being blamed by the public regardless of the government who is in the power. Education is one of the basic rights of every child.Sri Lanka is a country where all the children are eligible for free education from the grade one up to higher education in a government university and the total cost is bared by the government.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Basically there are three competitive exams that students have to face, grade five scholarship exam, G.C.E.Ordinary Level exam and G.C.E. Advanced Level exam. Out of these three exams G.C.E. Advanced Level exam is the most competitive exam which decides the university enterance.From the total number of students those who participate in G.C.E. Advanced level exam only 1% is eligible for the university admission. This is mainly due to less number of government universities in Sri Lanka. Due to the District merit system most of the students those who are qualified enough also, do not get a chance to enter in a government university. Because of this situation students are facing lot of difficulties in continuing their higher studies.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Out of them some students go abroad and continue higher studies in foreign universities. But in Sri Lankan context most of the parents are not capable of spending large amount of money for foreign education while it includes high accommodation cost and other expenses. Out of the students those who are going abroad, Most of them have less tendency of coming back to Sri Lanka while the job market is very competitive and the salaries are low comparing to the other countries. Therefore all the money that government is spending on these students for their primary education is a total loss while the government is not getting anything in return.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In the case of local graduates, there are some constraints as well. After finishing their higher education they are suffering from unemployment. Nowadays most of the graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. This is due to different reasons, one is most of the studentsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ qualifications are not going align with the current job requirements, lack of English knowledge, poor computer literacy, poor interpersonal skills and the outdated syllabuses in governmentƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  universities, therefore these students are not capable enough to face the new challenges in current job market.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Identifying these issues as a business venture private sector has entered in to the education sector introducing several types of Higher Education Institutes to provide higher educational qualifications like Diplomas. Degrees and Masters comparatively at a low cost than studying in a foreign country.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Government has come up with the idea of establishing private universities to overcome above problems and this has already created a strong protest from public, parents, undergraduate students in government universities and many more pressure groups. The main argument that they are bringing is this might have a bad impact on local graduates and it will further reduce their job opportunities.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ But on the other hand this will help to reduce the unnecessary expenditure of parents to provide their students a foreign education. If the Government can have proper agreements where these universities agree to provide substantial amount of their profit share, then the government can recover the cost that they have spent on these studentsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ primary education, instead of bearing the total loss, of them being to a foreign country for their higher studies .This will be favorable for the economy, because of this situation the money wonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t be totally transferred to a foreign country.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Also government should have a proper way to allocate these graduates and local graduates giving them an equal opportunity to enter to the job market .They can introduce a proper system such as they are appointing foreign Medical Graduates and local medical graduates. They can introduce the same system for local graduates and foreign graduates if they are continuing to establish these private universities. There should be a system where the first priority should be given to the local graduates; if foreign graduates are willing to compete for the same job opportunities. Also government can introduce a proper system to standardize both the graduates. System like this will be favorable for all the parties and stake holders. What people should understand is even if they donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t introduce private universities, the competition is already there which has created by other private higher educational institutes; but in that case only private sector is enjoying the benefits.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ All these issues should be considered before implementing these kinds of new strategies in any sector, but if government can manage all these things properly and introduce their strategies in appropriate and suitable way for our country, we can have a brighter future in our education system while benefiting all the parties.

4 Responses to “FUTURE OF OUR EDUCATION……”

  1. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    This is another wonderful article. It is true. Sri Lanka education system is failing. I agree that Education is one of the basic rights of every child. Obviously you are fully conversant with the current education.

    But I find the best solution that you got is another run of the mill. Are you suggesting that we need eduction to gain employment, I mean, to live our life by working for some one else (our masters)? In other words, working for someone is also a basic right. Is it? You also say many graduates are unemployed “due to different reasons, one is most of the students’ qualifications are not going align with the current job requirements, lack of English knowledge, poor computer literacy, poor interpersonal skills and the outdated syllabuses in government universities, therefore these students are not capable enough to face the new challenges in current job market.” While saying education is a basic right you try to make it a business venture. I have real trouble understanding where you stand.

    I see you like another agent serving English masters. Being a product, it seems that what you learnt has gone to your head just like every other proponent of changes to education. Until recently, no body looked down upon the education system that failed miserably to live up to community expectations. As another product of the same pathetic system, I could be one of the first to raise the voice to totally condemn this worthless education system left behind by our English masters. In fact, I went to the extent of claiming that teachers, academics and the other professionals and experts who contributed to waste lives of many people including mine as not even good enough to compare with buffaloes. The reason is that those animals have the purpose, stamina and the discipline to do what they are supposed to do, something missing in the products turned out by the system. We do not learn things that we know. So the blame lies with those who offer knowledge.

    We have lost the purpose of education. You want to learn to find a job to live or else you have to die. This is shameless English thinking inherited by their occupation. Many educated are just good at repeating what they heard. Nothing has come out worthy of praise. By the way Sinhala people, quite contrary to your expectation, never liked to be employees and they learn things for a very different reason. If it was the case, English could have used our women folk to pick tea instead of bringing in subhuman Tamils. This should tell you how far you have gone down the gutter like every other educated person. I tell this because there is an alternative (rebuilding of Sinhala Education system that contributed to every bit of original knowledge that we know today) and the need to find a way to do it. It is in the best interest of humanity to find the best among us to help us solve our problems to live a life as modern humans. Only way to do it is to find a way to let all learn. We have it now. Even if it means paying money to make them learn, it should be pursued. But what we should learn is not the waste you uttered such as English and computing. If you try to figure out the purpose of learning, you will be able to figure out what I am trying to imply.

    Horrible English regime left us with the waste system that made who we are. Instead of trying to jack up the waste, we must tell the truth. How many of us enjoy life by learning other than working like slaves. Learn to live, not to die while making other live. At the moment all other forms of life learn more important things than we do. If you believe in what you say, the best solution for people agreeing to your view is to go to England so that they can catch up with language and their version of technological development. Alas, they are proving their true colours these days.

  2. sharpeshooter Says:

    Well said Priyantha – This is what is called conditioning – if you tell something over and over again it will be accepted as true rather than through an emperical approach. The former Education Minister Susil, who apparently ruined the education system of Sri Lanka, was on the palms of the Catholic/Christains mother superiors and nuns and the English speaking (moslty they murder the language – expats know this) Colombans and our corrupt Educationists ( a minister has identified this). I wonder whether this push is by our fair sex because they find speaking English (they themselves murder the language) is a superior excersice in girl schools? We should have English as a subject and use it as TOOL to enhance our knowledge on various fields and discard the mad rush to create English MEDIUM schools again in the island. Whose bloody idea was this? Bandaranayake slammed the English education system and began Sinhala medium education to bring out the best from non-city areas, which was not directed at Tamils rather than at the English worshiping maniacs.

  3. sharpeshooter Says:

    by Sunil Vijayapala – above comment

  4. M.S.MUdali Says:

    S W R D Banadranayake introduced the SWABASHA education to all Sri lankans. But the so called ELITES (Tamils or Sinhalese or Muslims) still want to continue PAPPA, MAMMA education.

    Those who are in-charge of Education always run a system with a massive budget but they never did any research on how the system benefit the ordinary Sri lankan. Producing graduates never help Sri lanka while those degrees qualify a person to be a PEON in an office.

    Overhaul of the system is needed. Our Education system must be reformed and many unwanted or useless graduate programs must be eleminated.

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