President stresses need for educational reforms | Sunday Observer

President stresses need for educational reforms

27 September, 2020

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasised the need to reform the country’s education system to create a citizen who can optimally contribute to the future world, the economy and development.

The Universities should not simply be degree-awarding institutions. The President said that the country, the economy as well as the graduates themselves should benefit from this. He urged the education authorities to introduce a new curriculum as soon as possible, giving priority to practical needs.

The President was speaking held at the Presidential Secretariat last week on the future activities of the State Ministry of Education Reforms, Open Universities and Distance Learning Promotion.

President Rajapaksa said that the current labour market discrepancies have occurred due to the fact that educational reforms that suit the country have not taken place for many years. There is a large number of job vacancies in various fields in the country and internationally. But the education system has not created the manpower needed for the modern world.

‘To make the future generation of the country productive citizens, they must be enriched with new knowledge, skills and abilities.A clear roadmap should be drawn from pre-school to higher education level to ensure that young people do not get lost in the field of education.It can increase the opportunities for technical education and expand the use of technology in the educational process.

All institutions related to education were brought under one Ministry to achieve this objective,’ the President said. He said that it is every child’s right to have an equal opportunity in education irrespective of ethnic and religious differences and added that it is the Government’s responsibility to raise a productive citizen for the country.

New reforms should create a background to facilitate access to education for the children who were left behind to reach their academic destination without age restrictions. The President proposed the practical implementation of a student-centric education system instead of the existing exam-centric education.

The immediate need of an education system is to facilitate graduation for all the students who are eligible to enter universities and make the job market reach out for graduates instead of them taking to the streets demanding job opportunities were discussed in length.

University enrollment has been increased from 31,000 to 41,000 in the next year. The Open University will enroll an additional 10,000 students to their branches. Plans have been devised to register 10,000 to follow degrees in Information Technology. It was also discussed to adopt different eligibility criteria unique to each university which is the practice adopted by developed countries for university entry, at the meeting.

President Rajapaksa called upon the officials to expedite the review process of the already drafted National Education Policy and implement it accordingly.

Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris, State Minister Susil Premajayantha, Head of the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival. Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries to the Cabinet and State Ministries and Heads of the Line Institutes were present.