Sri Lanka spends 5% GDP on education: SB
Sri Lanka is presently spending approximately five percent of its GDP
for education, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said in
The Minister observed that it is a UNESCO recommendation that a
country must spend about six percent of its GDP to develop education. He
observed that the UNESCO refers to the total money spent on education,
and not only the government allocation.
The Minister pointed out that when the government allocation of two
percent for education is added to other expenditure of education borne
by individuals and private parties, Sri Lanka spends about 5% of its GDP
The Minister stressed that the FUTA demand to allocate six percent
for education from government revenue, which only amounts to 14.3
percent of the GDP, is impractical and hilarious. He noted About 5.4
percent of that 14.3 percent of state revenue is spent on paying
salaries and wages, while another 3.3 percent is spent on providing
various relief and concession and 5.6 percent on stiling loan interests.
He also observed that almost all the countries which have allocated
more than six percent of their GDPs for education either charge fees for
education or have high poverty levels. The Minister stressed that the
Sri Lankan government is determined to maintain free education even in
He said that the allocation for universities have been increased over
the past years. The amount which was Rs. 5000 million in 2000 was
increased to Rs. 10,200 million in 2005, Rs. 19,600 million in 2010 and
Rs. 25,000 million in 2012.
He also noted that the salaries of the university lecturers had been
increased, tremendously during the second term of office of the
President. He noted that non of the public servants salaries had been
increased at least by half of this amount in the history of Sri Lanka he
said that the salary of a senior professor was increased by 73-83
percent, and the salary of a probationary lecturer by 36-39 percent. He
stressed that FUTAs demand to increase the salaries further, is not
justified at all.
He also said that the university administration which was taken over
by student associations in the past, is now again in the hands of vice
chancellors, deans and lecturers. He observed that the present regime
was able to bring the university administration to normalcy. The
minister was responding to a questions raised by DNA MP Anura
Dissanayake under standing orders 23 (2), on the stance of the
government over the demands of the FUTA, and future measures to bring
the academic work in universities back to normalcy.