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– Urgent Call for Revamping the Education System by the President

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has stressed the importance of introducing a new educational system in Sri Lanka to drive the country towards economic transformation. As reported by the President’s Media Division (PMD), the President envisions an economic shift that adheres to global standards and fosters professionals who are well-suited for the competitive global market.

In his address, President Wickremesinghe highlighted the significance of alleviating the pressure associated with exams and incorporating English language and technology courses into the curriculum to better prepare students for the workforce. Furthermore, initiatives are in progress to establish new vocational colleges and universities specializing in technology.

These statements were made during President Wickremesinghe’s participation in a national event at St. Anthony Girls’ College, Colpetty on February 14, where free school textbooks and uniforms were distributed. The distribution initiative extended to providing educational materials to student monks and nuns across 10,126 schools and 822 pirivens nationwide. During the event, President Wickremesinghe personally distributed uniforms and school books to student monks and students.

At the ceremony, Sister Anne Christine, the Principal of St. Anthony Girls’ College, presented a token of appreciation to President Ranil Wickremesinghe. In his address, Mr. Wickremesinghe reiterated the necessity of educational reforms and underscored their pivotal role in shaping the nation’s future.

President Wickremesinghe reflected on his personal connection to education, mentioning his proximity to five schools including Royal College, Thurston College, Ladies’ College, Mahanama College, and St. Anthony’s Girls’ College. He recalled the emphasis placed on developing these educational institutions during President J.R. Jayawardena’s tenure.

Addressing the economic challenges faced by the country in 2022, President Wickremesinghe acknowledged the severe impact on various sectors, including education. He recounted the difficulties in providing school textbooks and uniforms during that period and highlighted his proactive approach in initiating economic recovery programs.

Emphasizing the importance of education reforms, President Wickremesinghe advocated for the establishment of a new educational framework in Sri Lanka. He emphasized the need to nurture professionals capable of excelling in the global arena by aligning the education system with international standards. Through measures such as reducing exam stress and incorporating English and technology subjects, the aim is to cultivate a skilled workforce prepared for the demands of the modern world. Plans are also in place to set up vocational colleges and technical universities to further this objective.

President Wickremesinghe expressed his commitment to preventing a regression to the challenges faced in 2022, emphasizing the importance of building a resilient economy to ensure stability and prosperity for the nation. He highlighted ongoing efforts to fortify Sri Lanka’s economy and underscored the determination to overcome turbulent times.

Education Minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha lauded the President’s initiatives in strengthening the education sector and ensuring the availability of resources for formal education despite past constraints. He mentioned that 80% of the school uniforms distributed were donated by the Chinese government, with the remaining 20% covered by the Government of Sri Lanka. Textbook printing utilized paper from the Indian loan aid scheme, with the government ensuring timely delivery of textbooks and even generating a profit from printing activities the previous year. The total expenditure on school uniforms and textbooks reached Rs. 19 billion.

Plans are underway to conduct the delayed G.C.E. Ordinary Level and G.C.E. Advanced Level exams by 2025, amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic difficulties. The Education Minister highlighted the President’s active role in education reform to align the system with global standards, aiming to nurture a generation of children capable of competing on a global scale.

The event was attended by Education State Minister Aravinda Kumar, MP Yadamini Gunawardena, Western Province Governor Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Gunathilake, Education Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera, Commissioner General of Educational Publications Z. Thajudeen, as well as the Principal, teachers, and students of St. Anthony Girls’ College. (NewsWire)