Brain drain will be stopped through quality education- President | Sunday Observer

Brain drain will be stopped through quality education- President

Steps will be taken to prevent the brain drain to achieve rapid economic development in the country, said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa while addressing the convocation of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University held at the BMICH on Friday (10).

He said if the Government and the private sector could ensure that a high standard of education is provided by local universities and other higher educational institutions, it may even be possible for us to start attracting international students to study in Sri Lanka and convert the higher education sector into a foreign exchange earner for the country.

Degrees were awarded to 1,282 students including outstanding graduates in the year 2019 by President Rajapaksa.

The President said that the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University should strive to be an exemplary higher educational institution not just in Sri Lanka but in the region as well.

“The free education system had a truly transformative impact on Sri Lanka. It should always be protected, the President said adding that we must allow those who can afford to pay for private education to follow their higher studies in Sri Lanka instead of going abroad.

President Rajapaksa pointed out that we should do a great deal of work to understand the true potential of our education system. The present education system is an exam-centric one. Due to this students’ opportunities for higher learning have been narrowed considerably. Irrespective of the skills, aptitudes, and knowledge gained by students throughout their primary and secondary education, their future is effectively determined by their exam results, the President said.

This focus on exams has created parental and social pressure on children. This has resulted in large numbers of children losing out on many opportunities to develop themselves in other ways during one of the most decisive periods in their lives, he added.

“We cannot allow our children to be lost in this education system,” the President said adding that is why we must broaden the opportunities available for further education through the state education system as well as through the private sector. He said it is vital to increase the intake of students to universities and other tertiary education institutions.

More investments need to be made to upgrade their infrastructure facilities and increase their human resources, the President said.

President Rajapaksa pointed out the importance of Universities offering degree programs in a way that will ensure that their courses will help them to be gainfully employed.The President emphasized that in this context, it is important to stress that the lack of Government resources should not be an inhibiting factor in achieving the broadening of tertiary education options.

“If we can increase the number of high-quality tertiary education providers in the country we can reverse the ‘brain drain’ as well as help reduce the outflows of our foreign reserves,” he added.