Lanka’s traditional arts, culture should be protected: PM | Daily News

Lanka’s traditional arts, culture should be protected: PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a stall at the Shilpa Abhimani and SAARC handicraft exhibition organised by the SAARC Cultural Centre National Handicraft Council at the BMICH yesterday.

Sri Lanka's traditional arts and culture should be protected while at the same time those serving in them should earn a good income, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

"If we fail to do that, many would abandon these professions and choose to migrate to the Middle East," the Prime Minister said addressing the Shilpa Abhimani and SAARC handicraft exhibition organised by the SAARC Cultural Centre National Handicraft Council at the BMICH yesterday.

"We hope to get investments to build hotels and factories, but those alone will not create jobs and avenues of income. We have to create jobs in other sectors apart from these two. One of these sectors is the traditional art and craft. One of the main steps we took to develop this area is to create a ministry dedicated to this sector," he said.

"This subject has been given to the Industry and Commerce Ministry. Minister Rishard Bathuideen has shown good political leadership to improve this sector and we see many such traditional crafts from his electorate. These industries however have not reached mass production but many people earn a living through them," the Prime Minister said.

He said to protect these traditional crafts, the workers have to be connected to the modern world.

"This can be done by the introduction of modern machinery, digitisation and new ideas, otherwise we will not be able to protect the industry going into the future. On one side, we need to keep making these crafts in the traditional manner while on the other side, we need to look at market demands and produce goods that are needed by the people. We need to improve both sides of this industry," Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.

"But first, we need to provide them training. We have made 13 years of schooling compulsory for all students. But not all want to enter university and we are planning to provide the students with skills training, knowledge of ICT and computers to schools. Our aim is to create students who use these technologies to expand their knowledge base and have a complete education," he said.

The main aim of making 13 years of schooling compulsory is to create a dual system of higher education for career focused learning. Under this system, skills training and modern technology education would be provided. Hence, they would receive two years of professional training from school. This would be similar to the German system of education, the Prime Minister said.


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