A national scheme giving primary school children in England a free piece of fruit each day has improved their diet, a study of 5,000 pupils has found.  The number of children who ate fruit every day rose from 46% to 65% as a result of the initiative, researchers at Nottingham University discovered.  The school fruit and vegetable scheme was rolled out nationally in 2002, amid concerns about healthy eating.  It provides a piece of fruit to all those in the first three primary years.  Between 2003 and 2005, reseachers from Nottingham University’s division of epidemiology and public health looked at more than 200 primary schools, studying the fruit intake of more than 5,000 children before, during and after taking part in the scheme.
 The main opposition UNP yesterday launched a countrywide campaign against the government’s proposed move to politicise the free education system by introducing a ‘Board of Management’ for national schools. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe kicked off the campaign at a meeting in the parliament complex by urging all MPs, party district organizers and members of the National Youth Council to educate the masses and campaign against what he termed the “Walawwa mentality” adopted by the government regarding free education in the country. Mr. Wickremesinghe charged the move to introduce a special “Board of Management” to oversee activities of national schools had come directly from the President’s office without the knowledge of the Education Minister. UNP MPs and organizers launched a signature campaign and the petition would be presented to Speaker W.
The JVP charged yesterday that some NGOs had interfered with the national education policy of the country in an unlawful manner by publishing teaching guidebooks and organizing essay competitions. Posing a question to Education Minister Susil Premjayantha, in Parliament, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti asked as to how the German enterprise GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit) had assisted in the publication of a teaching guide handbook of the Education Department of the Northern and Eastern provinces. He said this book had been approved by Provincial Education Secretary R. Thiagalingam. Mr.
Education Minister Susil Premajayantha informed Parliament yesterday he would take steps to call for applications for Grade one school admissions according to the previous circular with necessary amendments since political parties stressed the need to ignore guidelines set by the Supreme Court. The House took up the issue as an adjournment motion proposed by the JVP which noted that there would be a serious threat to free education if the Supreme Court guidelines were implemented. Minister Premajayantha said applications would be called from August 15 in conformity with the previous 2006/20 circular after introducing the necessary amendments to it. He said he would act in this regard only in keeping with the common viewpoint expressed in Parliament by political parties to do away with the Supreme Court guidelines which could give rise to numerous practical problems. The Minister said circular 2006/20 was cancelled on a Supreme Court ruling on March 29, over a fundamental rights case filed by parents regarding admission of their children to Matara Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya and Ambalangoda Dharmasoka Vidyalaya.
When did the Sri Lankans (before that the Ceylonese) start learning the language of the British? Maybe from the 1790s or the early 1800s! We have at least had an exposure to this funny language for 200 years.The following account from “A Short History of Lanka” by H.W.
Disciplining children seems to be the second most priority of a school, next to studies and education. In some schools it is given the highest priority, even over studies. What is our objective in doing so? What are the byproducts of disciplining? How will it effect the student and finally the society it self?
The Shilpa Sayura project, initiated under the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka’s (ICTA) e-Society Development Initiative gained international recognition last week when it won an i4d award at the eINDIA 2007 Conference in New Delhi , India. Shilpa Sayura was among seven ICT-based projects that won i4d Awards, for their contribution in the areas of digital literacy, electronic governance etc. The awards were given out during the valedictory session held on 2nd August, 2007. Central Informatics Organization (CIO), Government of Bahrain, and GDCO, Sudan were amongst the award winners. The project initiated by eFusion (Pvt) Ltd as a community ICT project with the vision to empower rural students with ICT based educational systems is to improve self-learning capacity while enhancing ICTA’s Nenasala utilization through participative development.
Members of all Ceylon graduate teachers’ Union have changed their earlier decision to keep away from marking answer scripts of students sitting the GCE A/Level examination, which commenced on Monday (06). These teachers had earlier taken a decision to boycott the marking of papers, as a means of winning their trade union rights. Now they have decided not to make their own students, the victims of their trade union struggle. The Union said there are more than one hundred thousand graduate teachers who prepare the students for the A.L Examination.
Prof. Nandasena Ratnapala, the down to earth sociologist has passed away yesterday, Daily News reports.  Prof. Ratnapala is better known for his research on the life of beggars, done by himself disguised as a beggar. He is also one of the pioneers in popularising sociology among masses, through his well readable articles to Sinhala newspapers.
Yesterday the leader of the opposition raised talarm about the proposed criteria for admissions to schools and accused the minister of trying to hide behind the courts without carrying out his manadated responsibility of  drafting an admission policy. Right on Ranil. Keep the pressure on but please don’t make this a political football. I have seen first hand your legislative skills and your commitment to education in, for example, the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission Act and the accompanying National apprentice and Industiral Training Act. Please stay away from the streets.