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The Sri Lankan government plans to set up 25 technical universities and
university colleges across the island, to cater to students who fail to gain
entry to state universities.
The ground-breaking move will provide job-oriented courses and create
alternative learning pathways up to degree level for thousands of students
leaving formal education. The plan is that job-oriented courses will upgrade
students’ competencies, leading to degree-level qualifications and professional
The proposal, made by Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister
Dullas Alahapperuma, has been approved by the cabinet, which has allocated
US$16 million for the project. The 25 colleges will be affiliated to the
University of Vocational Technology and will accommodate more than 50,000
students, who will study for degrees and diplomas.
The aim of the project is to provide progressive training to students in
the technical education and vocational training system and help them acquire
university education, with the intention of preparing them for the modern,
high-tech employment market.
Sri Lanka has 15 state universities but only 23,000 students are
admitted annually out of the 220,000 who sit the university entrance (A-level)
examination every year. The limited capacity of the universities means most
students miss the opportunity to obtain a higher education. About 12,000 Sri
Lankan students go to foreign countries annually seeking higher education and
US$400 million of foreign exchange is also drained from the country.
A memorandum of agreement, or MOU, signed last week for the
establishment of the first technical university, Malik Abdullah Technical
College, will provide technical education facilities for 1,500 students in the
eastern province. After signing the MOU, Alahapperuma said that revolutionary
changes were being introduced to effectively address the mismatch between state
education and job requirements.
University of Sri Jayewardenepura has fast become a torture camp and is
unsuitable for academic purposes as the university's Vice Chancellor continues
to work against undergraduates, student unions alleged yesterday.
In an ever-rising crackdown against student activists,
the university has suspended 15 more students this week, for having
participated in a protest on Wednesday, 19 June.
The Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF), charged
that 71 undergraduates of the Jayewardenepura University have been suspended
within a mere three-week period.
IUSF Convener, Sanjeewa Bandara, claimed the students'
right to protest is being violated, as the undergraduates did not behave in a
violent manner bringing disrepute to the university.
He said suspensions would not
resolve the crisis, which has prevailed within the university over the last
four years, and which incidentally is the main cause for the students to
"Students have been protesting because they don't
have adequate facilities. Hostels don't have water, students with financial
difficulties don't receive Mahapola Scholarships on time, and they don't have
enough amenities to study in peace. When they protest against these issues,
they're suspended, citing flimsy reasons.
It's a pathetic situation as students don't have the
freedom to do anything without risking being kicked out," Bandara said.
The 15 students were suspended for protesting against the
admission of several undergraduates to the Medical Faculty as private
The undergraduates were therefore agitating against the
government's possible move towards the privatization of State Universities,
which may be initiated by the 'selling of degrees' to certain students.
of the Sri Lanka Independent Student Union Giyan Bandara Dissanayake said that
what has happened in the Sri Jayawardenapura University is a political
conspiracy. The objective of this conspiracy is to lure the first year students
to the extremist groups. He alleged that student groups affiliated to the
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Frontline Socialist Party are behind this
conspiracy. The objective of these groups is to revive ragging in the
universities. Mr. Giyan emphasized that using first year students for political
agitations cannot be accepted under any circumstances.
union has requested the university administration to take stern action against
these activities. The Chairman of the Independent Students Union Yukthi
Ekadheera said that the Vice Chancellor of the Jayawardenapura University
should take all actions necessary to eliminate ragging in the university and
bring it to normal condition. He said that extremist groups are attempting to
shatter the peaceful situation in the university and to use the new students
for their petty political objectives. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the University
Grants Commission Professor Kshanika Hirimburegama said it is essential to
maintain discipline within the university network. She said that the university
administration is empowered to take action against the wrongdoers.
that it is only a minority group that attempts to disrupt university activities
and their objective is to deny the free education opportunities. The
administration council of the Sri Jayawardenapura University has taken steps to
suspend classes for 40 students who have been identified as involved in
ragging. It is reported that the suspended students who belong to a certain
political party are attempting to force the university students to stage
demonstrations against the suspension of classes for identified students.
Education Mr. Bandula Gunawardana said that the fourth turning point in
education in line with fulfilling the objective of creating a knowledge based
society as mentioned in Mahinda Chinthana Prospectus occurred on 20th June 2013
and through this direction, a real change in the lives of all born and unborn
children will happen.
expressed these ideas while attending the function to introduce advanced level
new technology subject stream to the nation under the patronage of HE the President
Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees on 20th June 2013.
English education system prevailed in the country and it catered to a limited
number of privileged elite social class people. Patriotic people such as Henry
Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala made the first turning point in education by
opening Buddhist schools. After passing the free education act, Dr. C.W.W.
Kannangara created the second turning point in education by opening 54 central
colleges and the third turning point was done by Madam Sirimavo Bandaranayake
taking over the schools under the government control, the minister stated.
further emphasized that for the fourth turning point of introducing technology
subject stream, several reasons caused and creating a qualified human resource
for the available employments is the major one among those reasons. At present
the percentages of students learning in advanced level can be categorized as
Science and Mathematics subject stream 21%, Commerce subject stream 27% and
Arts subject stream 52%. It is expected to change these percentages, increasing
the advanced level Science and Mathematics subject stream up to 40%, Commerce
subject stream up to 35% and reducing arts subject stream back to 25% by the
year 2016. In line with these changes computer literacy rate also will be
increased up to 75%, the minister further stated.
students who follow this new subject stream and qualify for the university
entrance, a Science and Technology faculty will be created in the universities
by 2016 and a new degree will be awarded as “Bachelor of Technology” (B tech),
the minister said.
technology subject stream will be started on the 15th of next month in 200
schools selected from the 1000 secondary schools and HE the President Mahinda
Rajapakse has instructed to change the history and create a proper education
system which does not mislead the children.
of Mahindodaya scholarship program was also initiated at this occasion and the
president handed over his salary of June to the minister of education as the
first donation to this fund.
of the first student for this new technology subject stream was done by the
president and he registered a student of Devi Balika Vidyalaya using the TV
technology from the Temple Trees. Handing over of the new syllabus to the
principals representing nine provinces was also happened at this occasion.
which offers free education to students needs to widen the higher educational
pathways and offer low cost private education options to students for the
knowledge hub dream to realize, an academic said.
Lanka higher education paths are very narrow but the demand is very high,"
Athula Pitigala-Arachchi, head of Asia Pacific Institute of Information
Tecnology (APPIIT), an affiliated college said.
government has to think innovatively to cope with this massive demand for
university education and private higher education is a good option for the
Lanka has 15 state universities and no non state universities or private
universities. There are 200,000 students passing out following the successful
completion of their secondary education with only 25,000 students qualifying to
entre state universities.
says in Sri Lanka higher education has been a state monopoly for decades and
the public sector has not expanded adequately to meet the demand.
Sri Lanka and even south Asia, the number of students entering to the higher
education is very low," he said. "The reason for this in Sri Lanka is
island has educational institutions offering foreign degrees which are not
affordable for most of students in the island.
says the government cannot alone face this challenge with other priorities in
health, transport and infrastructure development sector and work in private
public partnership in providing higher education for students through private
private sector has to play a role. It is growing over the past two to three
year but has not grown enough,"
he says the number of students entering the private higher education is still
small due to lack of funds and some of the students fly overseas seeking
private higher education is expensive in Sri Lankan contest and lot many students
can’t afford in the private sector." Pitigala-Arachchi said.
says while government expanding the state universities, it should give
concession to private universities to be establish in the island and to offer
degrees in a lower rate so the students can afford to do the degree within the
country and most students can be accessible for the higher education.
the private sector alone cannot do this, the government also should support
private sector to help the cost of private education to be down,"
government can give various concessions like grants, tax concessions, land on
long term lease, access to scholarships and training facilities and may be
loans for concessionary rate."
A study released by the United Nations
International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), states that 98% of Sri
Lanka’s children of school going age attend schools and there are only 2% of
the children who do not attend schools.
The Study prepared by the UNICEF was
handed over to the Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardana at the Sri Lanka
Foundation Institute yesterday by the UNICEF’s Deputy Country Representative Ms
Antonia De Meo.
As per Ms. Antonia De Meo this is the
furst such study carried out by UNICEF in South Asia, which was started in
The study has revealed that that 98.2
per cent of boys and girls in the 5-14 age group (primary and lower secondary
levels) and 98.6 per cent in the urban sector, 98.3 per cent in the rural
sector are attending schools.
Addressing the function the Minister
of Education Bandula Gunawardena said Sri Lanka is the only country in the
SAARC region with such a high rate of children attending schools and the
government intends to make every child to attend school by 2015.
The Minister pointed
out that during the last 30 years schoolchildren in the Northern and some parts
of the Eastern Province were unable to attend school properly due to LTTE
terrorism and due to the fear of children been abducted for child soldier
activities by the Tiger Terrorists.Extract from News.lk
The Employed Graduates Union
held a massive agitation at Lipton Circus in Colombo today (27th) demanding
permanency to all trainee graduates, withdraw conditions that deny employment
and stop moves to belittle the degree.
From the very day the agitation was announced the government, its
media and its beurocracy attempted to prevent graduates from participating.
However, the attempt of the government was defeated as a large number of
graduates took part in the agitation. The General Secretary of the Employed
Graduates Union Chandana Sooriyarachchi emphasized that all graduates would be
rallied to win the rights they deserve. සියළුඅභ්යාසලාභීඋපාධිධාරීන්ස්ථිරකරනලෙසත්, රැකියාඅහිමිකරනකොන්දේසිඉවත්කරනලෙසත්, උපාධියහෑල්ලුකිරීමනවතනලෙසත්ආදීඉල්ලීම්වෙනුවෙන්විසඳුම්ඉල්ලාඅද (27) දිනරැකියාලාභීඋපාධිධාරීන්ගේසංගමයමගින්කොළඹලිප්ටන්වටරවුමඉදිරිපිටදීදැවැන්තඋද්ඝෝෂණව්යාපාරයක්පැවැත්වීය.
මෙමඋද්ඝෝෂණයප්රකාශයටපත්වූදිනසිටමආණ්ඩුවේමාධ්යමගින්හානිලධාරීන්මගින්උපාධිධාරීන්මෙමඋද්ඝෝෂණයටසහභාගීවීමවැළැක්වූනමුත්ආණ්ඩුවේසියළුඋත්සාහයන්පරදවාවිශාලපිරිසක්මෙමසටනටපෙළගැසීසිටිනබවපැවසූරැකියාලාභීඋපාධිධාරීන්ගේසංගමයේප්රධානලේකම්චන්දනසූරියාරච්චිමහතාවැඩිදුරටත්අවධාරණයෙන්පැවසූවේඉදිරියේඋපාධිධාරීන්ටහිමිවියයුතුඅයිතීන්වෙනුවෙන්සියළුමඋපාධිධාරීන්පෙළගස්වනබවය. extract from Online Lanka Truth