General


Held on October 17, 2020, via Zoom VIDEO Link PRESENTATIONS Assessments in Primary Education  with a focus on  the Grade five Scholarship Examination in Sri Lanka Ms. Sanuja Goonetilleke and Dr. Sujata Gamage, Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) Review Panel Professor Angela Little, Professor Emerita at UCL Institute of Education, UK Dr. Longkai Wu, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Education, Singapore (Presentation) Mr. Muthu Sivagnanam, Former Director of Primary Education, Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka Moderator Dr.
Click here for the video. Prof. Veranja Karunarathna, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Peradeniya and Vice Chancellor of Slintec Academy, noted in his presentation that there has been a definite reduction in quality of graduate education over the years due to many factors, but showed that Sri Lanka does produce a high number of academic papers by graduate students and researchers per dollar invested in comparison to many countries. He also spoke on the negative impact of irregular appointments and promotions within universities; and the need for the appointment of Vice Chancellors to be on a merit-based system. The small number of PhDs conferred by Sri Lankan universities and the corresponding low amount of research was also a matter of concern in the global reputation of Sri Lankan universities.
The important contemporary topic of ‘World Class Universities & Universal Higher Education: Can We Have It All?’ was the theme of the latest Education Policy Dialogue, organized by Education Forum Sri Lanka and held on Saturday 15th August 2020. The webinar provided insights and discussed challenges that would of much use to policymakers, university administrators and academics in charting the future of the Sri Lankan university system. It examined challenges to the competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s universities in the world of tertiary education and the way forward for Sri Lanka to enhance the quality of its universities in order to achieve the twin targets of widening the reach of university education throughout Sri Lanka and making the country a regional hub for knowledge. Dr.
අලුත් කැබිනෙට්ටුවේ අධ්‍යාපන විෂය පෙර වාර වල  මෙන් තුන් අතකට නොකඩා එක් ඇමතිවරයකුටම  බාර දීලා තියෙනවා.. ඇත්තටම  මැලේසියාව  හැරුණු කොට ආසියා කලාපයේ ඉන්දියාව, බංග්ලාදේශය, සිංගප්පූරුව, ඉන්දුනීසියාව, තායිලන්තය, දකුණු කොරියාව හා තායිවානය යන සෑම රටකම අධ්‍යාපන  විෂය භාරව සිටින්නේ ඒක ඇමති වරයකු පමණි. මැලේසියාවේ උසස් අධ්‍යපනය සඳහා වෙනම  අමාත්‍යංශයක් තියෙනවා. අපේ රටත් ඒ පෙලට එක් වුනු ඒක ගැන සතුටුයි.
Held on June 27, 2020, via Zoom Watch video here. Presentation: Early Childhood is defined as period between 0-5 years 0-2 is home-based care and the Ministry of Health has on-going  programs using Public Health Nurses, Public Health Midwives and the Medical Officers of Health 3 to 5 years is the period that ECE usually operates Golden 1000 Days in a child’s life is critical, because brain growth is maximum during this period. About 85% of brain growth of an entire life happens during early childhood. Maximum neuroplasticity, myelination, connectivity through synaptogenesis and differentiation of brain cells occur best in the Golden 1000 day period. Unless stimulation and nutrition are adequate during this period, brain growth will falter.
Held on June 13, 2020, via Zoom Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1021915811544559 Presentation: Dr. Sujata Gamage presented  “An Assessment Framework with Built-in Accountability for Reforming the National Examination System in Sri Lanka”.
In Sri Lanka, with a population of 22 million, 11,000 schools closed on March 12th affecting 4.5 million students. The situation in Indonesia parallels Sri Lanka though Indonesia’s population at 268 million is ten times that of Sri Lanka. According to a World Bank blog, in Indonesia, over 530,000 schools closed affecting 65 million students. The situation is forcing a very fast and broad increase in the country’s use of EdTech, which is expected to have lasting effects on the market.
Held on May 16, 2020, via Zoom. Video: https://www.facebook.com/EduForumLK/videos/726016001268499/  Presentation (Who has Access?): https://lirneasia.
It is heartening to note that the decision to reopen schools on May 11th has been reconsidered positively. Exposing 4.3 million school children to a potential resurgence of the virus with no clear plan would have been dangerous, when we still haven’t had a straight 48-72 hours without a single Covid patient being reported. Sanitizing all schools effectively would need time and resources. Overcrowding of classrooms in urban/popular schools, inability to implement safe-distancing methods and lack of adequate facilities for hand-hygiene, are all reasons to consider before announcing re-opening.
Capitalizing on the need to switch to distance learning (DL)  Sri Lanka like all countries had to find alternate methods of education when school closure became a necessity during Covid 19. Many countries in the West & East seamlessly switched  to e-learning & online education,  since their curricula & syllabuses were already posted on the education websites, and e-learning had been practiced interspersed with face-to-face learning in class,  even before Covid.  Good example is Singapore, where once a week, e-learning had been a practice for several grades. So an abrupt and total switch was effortless for them. What’s the story with Sri Lanka?