Issues and trends impacting education in Sri Lanka.
The need to help arrest the declining standard of English : In recent years, the levels of English fluency amongst the members of Sri Lanka’s academic community and among members of the public service have deteriorated. Due to ultra-nationalistic political forces, English was abandoned, instead of being retained while encouraging vernacular languages.
The rise in demand for private education : Free education plays a key role today but insufficient government spending on education due doubtless to heavy military expenditure has led to a marked decline in educational standards in the country. Consequently the demand for private education is rising. In recent years several “international” schools have sprung up that do not come under the purview of the Ministry of Education nor the Department of Examinations. There is an absence of a desirable state regulatory mechanism to monitor the academic offerings and standards of these schools.
Need for policy reform : Sri Lanka now needs to recognize that most citizens are now paying, and are willing to pay, for education services that were once free, in the expectation of better quality. Policy reformers should take note of this fact.
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For Student Advisor, Fulbright Commission
6100 Colombo PL
Dulles VA 20189 – 6100