President insists on national education policy | Daily News


President insists on national education policy

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasised the need for formulating a national education policy on a priority basis to suit the rapidly changing situations.

This policy should not change with the change of a government or a President, he observed at a discussion with the Education Ministry officials at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

The Cabinet, Parliament and the public should be fully informed when formulating an “education Policy”. Views of the academics, experts in the field and international standards should be taken into consideration, the President said.

The President commended the step taken by the Education Minister to remove photographs and messages of politicians from the school text books. The Ministry has to incur a large sum of money to re-print the text books with different images and messages once a new government comes into power, the President said.

The “Nenasa” computer technology programme has suffered a setback in the recent past. The President instructed the official to revive the programme and continue it effectively.

Some subjects are taught using computer technology to Grade 10 and 11 students. To reap full benefits from this process, the computer skills should be developed from Grade 5, the President said adding that if this system is not followed, the country will fail in its forward march with modern global trends.

The President pointed out the possibility of using computer technology as a solution to the shortage of English, Mathematics and Science teachers in rural areas. Children living in these areas can receive the knowledge similar to that of children in urban areas through a formal strategy. President Rajapaksa focused on providing necessary technical equipment and high speed internet facilities to rural schools in collaboration with government bodies and private communication companies.

President Rajapaksa highlighted the importance of a practical education system to rival the global standards and discard the exam-centered education system that continues from kindergarten to the university.

Education Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that about 100 schools have not received a single application for admitting children to Grade 1. Western Province Governor Dr. Seetha Arambepola said that six schools in her province with less than 200 students are within 1km to each other. The President advised the officials to examine the capability of integrating those schools under one roof.

He added that it could assist in overcoming the shortage of teachers and elevate the standards of schools. President Rajapaksa instructed to expedite converting 19 National Colleges of Education to University Colleges that will produce teachers with a bachelor’s degree.

The President stressed that the Education Ministry must show positive outcomes in all sectors including computer technology in three to four years.

Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana, Western Province Governor Dr. Seetha Arambepola, President Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Education Ministry Secretary N. H. M. Chithrananda, Additional Secretary Hemantha Premathilaka and several other officials were present.

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