What is (rather, will be) the only examination in Sri Lanka where there is an EIGHTY PERCENT (80%) GUARANTEED FAILURE RATE?  Answer: Grade One admissions in the year 2008.  As the latest circular of the Education Ministry tells us, the number of five year olds the Ministry intends to call for the IQ test (call it whatever, it is ultimately an IQ test) will be FIVE TIMES the number of vacancies in a school. So 80% of the applicants are bound to fail, irrespective of the marks they score. (If each of the top 20% scores 20/20, even those who score 19/20, ie.
Teachers’ trade unions in Sri Lanka say many more teachers are afraid of marking A/L answer papers as a result of their boycott being challenged in the court.    The trade unions that stage a boycott of marking the papers were ordered by the Supreme Court not to intimidate or force those who are marking the papers to join their action.  Wasantha Dharmasiri, General Secretary of Education Professionals Association (EPA), said many teachers who did not join the boycott are now fearful whether they would be sued if they make any mistake.  A trade union action by 12,000 teachers was converted into a mass scale protest by 225,000 education professionals as a result of the court action, he said.  Five major teachers’ unions say they are planning to stage an island-wide boycott on 13 September.
According to recent news, University Grants Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training is to set up a University of Vocational Technology. The public university system is in crisis. Funding is in adequate and/or is mismanaged. Students are protesting about lack of facilities. The Technical and Vocations Education system is in no better shape.
While the 2007 GCE Advanced Level examination paper marking has come to a standstill due to trade union action by some teachers’ unions, the Supreme Court yesterday made an order restraining the unions from threatening and intimidating the Assistant Examiners who were to scrutinize the answers scripts. Court made this order following a petition filed by H.S. Rukman Senananda, a student who had sat the examination, citing Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, Ministry Secretary Ariyaratne Hewage, Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe, the Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union, All Ceylon United Teachers’ Union, Education Professional Association, Ceylon Teachers Union and Lanka Home Science and Agriculture Union and IGP Victor Perera. The 19-year-old student of Nivaththakachethiya Maha Vidyalaya in Anuradhapura who sat the A/L examination in August stated that after the examination was conducted, Additional Examiners and Assistant Examiners were invited to scrutinise the answer scripts.
A key issue worries a significant youth population in Sri Lanka, is the difficulty to find a suitable job to meet their expectations. The long term goal should be to create jobs, but if somebody at least helps others to find proper employment opportunities that itself is commendable. We hope the other politicians too follow the Lyceum example, and conduct job fairs rather than pushing their supporters to positions within government ruing the system.  This news item from today’s Daily Mirror.  _________________________________________________________ “Virekiyawen-Rekiyawakata” the annual job fair organized by the Lyceum International School in collaboration with the Mohan Lal Grero Foundation will be held on September 8, 2007 from 8.
It has become so very difficult to highlight any one problem that the people in this country face .There are so many issues caused by the mismanagement, corruption and abuse of power and just the lack of concern. Good governance seems to a be a myth as politicians seek to nurture themselves as they survive in their niches of power .They are no longer worried about the issues facing the voters who were once dazzled by the manifestos they presented .Today these voters have been reduced to discarded statistics while the politicians like the famous ostriches who hid their heads in the sand feeling that since their tiny heads are not visible no one will see them.
The first ever National Education Act will be introduced next year, the chairman of the committee appointed to formulate the Act said yesterday. Former Education Director General G.B. Gunawardna who heads the seventeen-member committee said the committee had already held two discussions since its appointment recently by the Education Minister on a directive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “The committee has been asked in its terms of reference to formulate a ‘National Education Act’ as Sri Lanka did not have a coherent, clear cut policy or law on education since gaining independence.
Issue of Grade One School Admission has taken an unexpected turn against the evolution of the education policies of Sri Lanka. Although there is a Supreme Court ruling, every one including the judiciary is not above the ‘Law of Justice’. Justice should prevail in any court or any judgment. By granting the fundamental rights of a few elites, the court is denying the fundamental rights of the ordinary citizens of the nation. This event is in the making of history in Sri Lana’s education.
One hundred Sri Lankan students were awarded Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships yesterday at a function organized by the High Commission of India in Colombo. These students were selected from all 25 districts on the criteria of merit-cum-means based on their performance at the GCE ‘O’ Level examinations 2007 as well as interviews jointly conducted by the High Commission of India Colombo and the Ministry of Higher Education. The selected scholars will receive financial assistance of Rs.1,500 per month for a period of two years to enable them to successfully pursue their ‘A” Level courses. The Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship programme, which was instituted last year, will continue in future, and every year 100 or more Sri Lankan students will be selected from all the districts of the country for the award of scholarships in the name of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian High Commission said.

Internationalisation of School Education

Posted on September 1, 2007  /  0 Comments

Internationalisation of School Education Dr. Siri Gamage   EDUCATION: This paper critically examines the internationalisation of education in Sri Lanka in the last two decades, relevant discourses and their implications on the society and culture. A well-known Sri Lankan educationist once said that there is no informed educational debate in Sri Lanka. What exists there is only several myths extracted from the British educational tradition’ (Udagama 1981/82:8). However, it is important to see if these myths continue to exist, whether the myths have changed, or indeed different myths have been extracted from other powerful countries such as USA, and Australia.