13 July, 2020

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Government Proposes Secretive Private Higher Education Push In The Guise Of Free Education

A three-pronged initiative is underway under the aegis of the newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to liberalise higher education by introducing private universities and restructuring State-led higher education under Rajapaksa’s manifesto – 2020-25 ‘Vision for Prosperity’ Medium Term Development Strategy Framework. 

Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Higher Education, Technology and Innovations Dr. Bandula Gunawardane has presented three separate three Cabinet Memoranda (read here, here and here), bearing reference nos HETI/HE/UD/2019/28, 29 and 30 proposing the setting up of ‘Chartered Universities’, restructuring universities and university institutions and the establishment of a ‘Free Education Investment Zone’ all dated 24 December, 2019.

Although expansion of both state-led and private education is much needed at this hour the manner in which it so discreetly and secretively without proper consultation with the stakeholders and going against the very promise of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s election of pledges of not allowing privatization of any sectors; has earned the disappointment of many university academics and higher education professionals.    

Chartered Universities 

The Cabinet Memoranda no 28 proposes the introduction of ‘Chartered University’ concept to Sri Lanka which will see  private-led ‘Not for Profit’ with both the state patronage and the contribution of ‘private philanthropists’. 

The Ministry has identified the following  institutions:- 

1. National School of Business Management (NSBM) Green University – Pitipana, Homagama (Established under Companies Act) 

2. University of Vocational Technology (UNIVOTEC) (Affiliated to the Ministry) 

3. Sri Lanka Technology Campus (SLTC) – Meepe, Padukka (Affiliated to the Sri Lanka Telecom PLC) 

4. Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies (NIIBS)- Manelwatte, Kelaniya

5. Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy (SIBA) – Pallekele, Kandy (Affiliated to the Temple of the Tooth) 

The Minister laments that although these higher education institutions has been imparting courses under high standards with powers to confer degrees but has not been recognized as fully-fledged degree awarding institutions by the University Grants Council. 

However the Memorandum notes that these institution too do not to be incorporated into the UGC system as it requires admission of students according to the Z Score and complying with the rigid regulatory regime of the UGC.  

However the institutions must comply with the conditions that they must be continued with the objective of not for profit and any extra revenues earned be only invested for educational development, that all courses must be approved by the UGC, that all education staff qualification must be in consistent with UGC regulations, all courses and facilities be marinated on par with international standards and that all Chartered Universities must include the Secretary  of the Ministry of Higher Education or his representative in its Board. 

Any Chartered University found to be in breach of any of these conditions and is not maintained properly after a grace period of two years may  be subjected to the removal of its Chartered status by the Minister. 

Restructuring of Universities

In a bid to increase university admissions, Ministry has proposed the increase of student admissions by at least by 25% entitling 7,500 more openings in the university system without incurring any additional costs to the Treasury with capital or staff recruitments but by optimizing existing human and physical resources. 

The Memorandum proposes that with no new physical investments and with marginal increase in human resources upgrade Sri Lanka Forestry Institute (Nuwara Eliya), Institute of Surveying and Mapping (Diyatalawa), National Institute of Social Development, Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC Academy- Pitipana), Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) of Sri Lanka and the Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka  (AATSL) be upgraded into universities under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education, creating openings for 2,500 additional students. 

The Ministry has also proposed that all state-owned higher education institutions and technical colleges that award NVQ level 6 be upgraded into University Colleges with existing infrastructure and without any additional burden to the Treasury but only with a new salary scheme on par with University Colleges. 

One of the most drastic change proposed by the Memorandum is the formulation of an affordable fee-levying structure for University Colleges to meet the additional financial requirements. 

A Cabinet-appointed Expert Committee headed by the Ministry Secretary and comprising UGC Chairman, Vice Chancellors of the Sri Jayawardenepura, Colombo, Moratuwa, Ruhuna Universities and NSBM Campus, presidents of professionals union, SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies), Director General of Commerce, Prof. Chandra Embuldeniya and competent authorities appointed for universities and  university colleges has been formed to study and report within six weeks to the Cabinet of Ministers on the new courses to be introduced, standards and qualitative regulatory mechanisms to be reintroduced; has also ben proposed.         

Establishment of a ‘Free Education Investment Zone’ 

The Minister has proposed the setting up of a ‘Free Education Investment Zone’ in order to transform Sri Lanka into the international educational hub in South Asia. 

The Memorandum states that the Minister believes that with the completion of Colombo International Finance Center at Port City and the proposed mega economic zone at Hambantota there arose a great need to minimize brain drain.  

As such the ‘Free Education Investment Zone’ would be set up on the 700 acre land in Millewa, Horana acquired by the Urban Development Zone for an Industrial Zone  but stalled due to public protests closely following the special investment attracting scheme followed by Malaysia when setting up the  ‘Special Free Education Investment Zone’.

However it must be noted that Malaysia does not have a ‘Special Free Education Investment Zone’ but a Special Economic Zone and high-technology business district under the National ICT Initiative of Malaysia formerly called the Multimedia Super Corridor but renamed Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Criticism 

However due to lack of consultations with stakeholders and due to its highly secretive nature education experts and academics are much skeptical at these initiatives.  

“The three cabinet papers propose drastic changes to higher education. These changes occur without public consultation and without a proper analysis of their consequences,” claimed an expert on grounds of anonymity. 

“These are as follows:

1. The establishment of ‘chartered universities’, which will give degree awarding status to non-profit private institutions.

2. The establishment of a ‘free education investment zone’, which will cater primarily to foreign students and which promises to be heavily subsidized through the national budget in 2020. 

3. To increase university intake by 25% and to elevate institutes awarding qualifications of NVQ level 6 and higher into degree awarding university colleges. These activities will not include any form of government but private investments.”

“We have many questions regarding the above proposals. 

“Although the government proposes the introduction of the ‘Chartered Universities’, we are not the US (United States of America), where non-profit universities operate with large endowments. The question then becomes who will fund these institutions. Because of their non-profit status, global trends indicate that they are easier for governments to subsidize than private for profit institutions. In fact, the World Bank, which has a substantial hold over our education system today, openly advocates such a system. Generally, such initiatives result in the already limited State resources to education to be distributed across private and public institutions. The outcome is a depletion of funds for public institutions to operate. In fact, these trends have already begun. 

Private personal funds will also be used to run these institutions. Today existing degree programmes at SLIIT (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology) and the Kothalawala Defence University (KDU), both developed through heavy subsidy, run between LKR 500,000.00 and 2,000,000.00. To cover these costs, our already debt burdened households are now being given credit facilities for education by banks. Globally education related debt has created heartache in countries such as the US and Canada. Can we afford additional debt? Can we not learn from the stories from other countries? Will chartered universities necessarily address the educational aspirations of the public? Maybe, but only if one is rich. The outcome will sadly be to further stratify our society based on class.” 

“With regards to the setting up of the ‘Free Educational Investment Zone’, the use of the term ‘Free’ in the ‘free educational investment zone’ uses something we cherish very much for purposes of exploitation. Firstly, like a free trade zone, the ‘free’ educational investment zone will ensure that regulations that gave birth to the free education system of this country, will not be applicable in this zone. It ignores the epic struggle by the ordinary people of this country to create our cherished system of education. We recognize that our system of education needs reforms. These reforms should however benefit our public. It should not be a means through which the private sector and the global financial system exploits the hopes and aspirations of the Sri Lankan people. The State promises to heavily invest in this zone. One must ask, at what cost? Other than the financial investments required, they are likely to accelerate the brain drain from state institutions just as Chartered universities are likely to.” 

Referring moves to increases in intake, he questioned whether arbitrary changes by the political apparatus to universities and institutes result in better educational services to the general public. 

“In fact, this year, allocations to universities have been cut. Universities are struggling to find the resources needed to conduct existing programmes. Other resources, such as teachers and laboratories are also not equipped to teach beyond prescribed class sizes. There is a very real danger that taxing the system further will result in greater numbers of degree awardees but whose qualifications have less value and meaning. While the educational aspirations of the public need to be met, these changes have to be made with proper investment and with a proper analysis of the resources required.” 

“While we recognize the urgent need to address the aspirations of the youth, we must proceed with caution and with a holistic perspective. School education needs to be strengthened to ensure that students who leave the school system irrespective of their wealth are prepared for the next stage of their lives. Thus, firstly, school education needs to be strengthened. School teachers require better and continuous training. The National Institute of Education needs to be transformed and teacher salaries must be increased. Disparities between schools must be addresses in a manner that ensures that irrespective of their school and your resources, a child has equal opportunities to fulfill their aspirations. Student achievement must be construed as multifaceted to ensure that students realise their talents and leave the system feeling enriched and hopeful about the future. Technical and university education should then be available to these students to pursue their varied aspirations irrespective of their means. The role of teaching, research and outreach that universities must perform need to be given due consideration. ‘Universities’ that only teach are only universities by name and will only corrupt the system.” (By Sandeepa Perera)

 

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Latest comments

  • 24
    6

    What else can we expect from a “Bogus Economist” and a Tuition Master? May be he is finding ways for his Bankok hand holding lady to make money.

    • 17
      1

      That is how these SAME BPs then went for that SAITM college which became a part of huge burden to the GOOD governance govt. I think all the mess created by BPs of Rajaakshe regime were a big burden to the GG government, but the media was finely handled or under threat by underground network not allowing the message being gone to the public in the society.
      Rajaakshe retruned to power by misleading the masses to all abusive levels. False rhetorics and myths sowed through BUDDHIST clergy enabled them retruned to power. But not a single tiny issue is handled by them yet to say, wow: How can we ever wait until pigs might fly.. that will never.
      Likewise, if a struggle based on health or oil would come on us, RAJAKASHE would not be able to protect the nation since they have no experts to help with. And secondly world is always looking at them to the very same manner they did to Zimbawian Mugabe or the like minded unedcuated buggers. Howe ver, Mugabe s English was good enough to be able to communicate with the international community. And ours or the like countries would never be able to rise up so long our trible leaders would not relinquish their powergreedi tactics.

      • 15
        1

        Instead of more Buddhist universities, Sri Lanka urgently needs an Ocean University, that is not a NATO -North Atlantic Treaty Organization – shell company.

        Sri Lanka has extensive ocean resources, but no proper marine science of Ocean resources industial and sustainable use and development policy . Rather the Ocean University is a joke that serves to advance the US-France-UK NATO take over of the Indian Ocean with Moda Modi destroys India.

        France and other Distant Water FIshing States (DWFS) are looting the Indian Ocean fishery having re-named the Indo-Pacific to suit the US militraization and pollution of the Indian Ocean.

        • 2
          1

          Yes. In 2018, the Food Agriculture Organization released documents helping people understand “Aquatic Genetic Resource.” http://www.fao.org/aquatic-genetic-resources/home/en/
          Where before the invention of the science of ecology and biology, Europeans wiped out all the endemic whales of the Mediterrannean Sea, identifying whales species by their teeth (or toothless baleen plate,) Now Fish in the North Atlantic and North Sea are “rapidly evolving” to sexually mature younger and younger as they empty the sea of moving creatures. This depletion of fish, in turn slows the ocean currents and they blame ‘global warming.’
          For Capitalism, all the ocean life, is a “Aquatic genetic resource” , and so each individual creature is being worried about in 2018, which is a good thing for the life on Earth. Each creature is being catalogued, and the Capitalism dreams of evolving the creatures to better suit their international market tastes and efficiencies.
          Here is one such “case study” from Iran which has a “Biodiversity hotspot” that is aiming to save their caviar river sturgeon.
          http://english.ifsri.ir/

          Also, for Information Technology, anyone can teach themselves how to program a computer, if they are taught algebra, and mathematics.
          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_C_Programming_Language
          One can learn about the Internet protocols from the “RFC720”
          One can build their own HTTP server, for free.
          One can even make Apps for free on their smartphones.

          The trick is to get enough people inside srilanka to do so, so that they can have an isolated internet within SL, without being exposed to the destruction of the western sensibilities in their desire to colonize outer space.
          the universities do not teach the free resources, and it is hobbyists who tell students about how the internet was formed, etc. If they did, they would be called primitive. As the buddhist mocks above, “tuition master”

        • 9
          3

          Don Stanley

          “nstead of more Buddhist universities, Sri Lanka urgently needs an Ocean University,”

          Without the (Sinhala/)Buddhist graduates how do you propose to fill vacancies at Central Bank, Planning Ministry, Treasury, Ministry of Technology & Innovation, ………………?

          • 1
            0

            Native: ” Central Bank, Planning Ministry, Treasury, Ministry of Technology & Innovation, ……………’

            Can be found adequate numbers at Delft.
            What innovation has our people produced.

        • 8
          3

          What is the point in having more Buddhist Universities? When I was in Myanmar last month I notice the Buddhist monks go out every day on Pinnapatha. Unfortunately, I never saw this in Sri Lanka when I stayed there for 4 weeks before my trip to Myanmar for one week. I remember as a child my Mom would never give us food until the Buddhist Monk was given Pinnapatha. What is the point in having more Buddhist Universities when the Buddhist Monks in SL do not follow the teachings of Lord Buddha? Buddha wanted the Monks to go out and beg for their food. I saw Madagoda Abayatissa Thero sipping tea in the middle of the session held re: Ape Hathe Potha. What a crap.

          • 9
            3

            Buddhist

            “Buddha wanted the Monks to go out and beg for their food. “

            Instead the Sinhala/Buddhist leaders travel far and wide to beg for everything? Last month Hindians donated $550 dollars when Gota was on begging trip, and Ajit Doval, the Hindian National Security Advisor visited Gota to top up Hindias donation.

            Sometime this week his brother Mahinda is flying to Hindia on a begging trip, for both financial and spiritual donations.

            It appears the Rana-virus Gota has cancelled his begging trip to Coronavirus infected China.

          • 8
            1

            We have almost 40,000 monks and out of them less than 1,000 are following and living the proper teachings of Buddha.

            Most who have ordained have done so due to poverty and not due to any other reason. So don’t expect them to go on “Pinnapatha “

            They are all opportunists and accumulating wealth. How many monks are fighting in courts over land matters? How many monks in jail due to rape and murders?

            This is the case with most clergy and Buddhist minister are no exception.

          • 3
            1

            Buddhist: Buddhist universities or centres where injecting enemas are taught.

            • 1
              2

              Rev Medalankara de Choppe
              You have no right to say anything about Buddhism reverend, you church has been nothing but trouble, even from the time your “holy” church has only been massacring innocents to convert and those mass graves are still being found today. We’d rather have fake Buddhists than you christians and catholics teaching your bull crap around our country, you would erase our history and teach our people to kiss the white man’s ass even more. Plus, weren’t you guys supporting ltte, how can you still stay in this country? Just look at what you guys do now and look at this history you people have in this country, nobody wants you church people over here.

              • 2
                0

                Jayasuriya: Forget your crap. Both the catholic church and the Buddhist temples had been accused of sodomy.At least one child died the day after he was ordained, due to bleeding from the anus. Another child monk started to bleed from his anus at Matara.There was an attempt it hush it up but since it failed three priests and a lay teacher was arrested.One member of the BJB was imprisoned over accusations of sodomy.This is common in monasteries be they Catholic or Buddhist.Lanka Guardian published a child being sodomised taken through a frosted glass window at a residence of a priest at Galle near the air port.Were you ever punctured from behind.

                • 2
                  0

                  JaYASURIYA SINCE YOU ARE AT IT: Please read European history. Europe had a depressed economy before the French Revolution.The French revolution put a stop to the dominance of the Catholic church. From the day the church was separated from the state the economy grew. The people of France slaughtered the catholic priests by the thousands.,It was the Church that kept the people of Euroipe under poverty. The British are a proud people because with the creation of the Church of England the British did not have to be tail carriers to the Cathiolic church and their economy bloomed.
                  Nicosia suffered a lot under ArchiBishop Makarios, from the day that man died Niclasia is at Peace.From the day the the Communist party imprisoned the members of the church in Russia and China their ec onomy bloomed.,America is what it is today because of the sedparation of the church and the state.The Middle Eastern countries are down and out because of the involvement of the religion with the state

                  Come on Jayasuriya, forget such analytical thoughts .It is beyond the pea sized brain of yours. Go home and play with youself.The priest at Sigiriya, Ajantha and Ellre did it and they were less damamging to the contry’s economy.

                  • 1
                    1

                    Rev Medalankara de Choppe,
                    “JaYASURIYA SINCE YOU ARE AT IT: Please read European history.”

                    How about you read the Sri Lankan history Gong Hatha. Because if you did you wouldn’t have joined the filth pile that is the church. The church has massacred our ancestors, how can you in your right mind join something like that? How much money did they pay you?

                    • 2
                      0

                      Jayasuriya, True Gong Heththa,.
                      What is there to read but lies.What Lord Buddha would have recommended that a God should safe guard Vijaya the rogue, killer of his wife and children thief, rapist, etc

                      Sri Lanka always got down people from India, South India at that and crowned them as Kings. our ponnayas

                      The construction work that is claimed to be of local origin was by Indians.

                      The safron robed guys, who acted as medicine men, got people to lick and taste the kings excreta _ and gave them a named Saththambiyas.

                      How could Sigiriya be fortress. Any body who sat there would have had roasted asses.

                • 1
                  1

                  Rev Medalankara de Choppe,
                  I was never punctured from behind but, I am pretty sure you were since that is part of your indoctrination no? It’s the will of jesus, he got punctured in his arms so you catholics and christians should be punctured in your bum. Let me make it clear I don’t support sodomizing monks but, at the same time I will choose a Buddhist temple over your churches any day. I despise you churches being in this country as you guys are a cancer. In your 2nd reply you have mentioned how states started blooming after some govts. got rid of churches, maybe we should do the same and chase you churches out of our country like how you filth chased and killed our ancestors. Now go lick the white man’s rear end some more, bet you know what day the first pope cleaned his back side for the first time is but, if I asked you when the independence day of our country is you’d be acting lost like a little child. Now go pretend to be white and keep on paying poor people to convert because there is no other way anyway in there right mind would come to your church.

                  • 1
                    0

                    Jayasuriya;
                    No let us get riud of all the religious centres. Unlike I recognie them as cancers.

                    • 1
                      0

                      Correction Jayasuriya;
                      No let us get rid of all the religious centres. Unlike you I recognize them as cancers.No God, no hell but be just buried. Why pay santhosam when you are dead?

                  • 1
                    0

                    Jayasuriya, Do you know that the cultural traingle people discovered a stone inscription where it was said that the people of the area had to submit a female to the safron clad gents plac e of residence, wrongly called the Temple, on a dialy basis and that in the evening the owner of the woman had to pay the safron clad to take their away their wives and daughters.
                    This happened even in Europe before the French Revolutiuon.Long live the French Revolution, Long live Robespeiere. .Please be born in this island Mrf.Robespieire

        • 1
          0

          Budhist Universities What for to teach how to sodomise.?

          • 0
            0

            Machang Bahubutha: No to teach how to lie without batting an eye lid.

      • 2
        7

        Sam Fernando,
        “RAJAKASHE would not be able to protect the nation since they have no experts to help with.”

        If Rajapakses managed to find expertise to get rid of the megalomaniac bellige putha Pakaharan who terrorized the whole nation, they will find ways to face any sort of situation. Your favorite Dr. Bond found expertise only to rob the Central Bank.

        • 2
          0

          Eagle Eye,
          Please no BAILA, but alzheimer mentality bearer – on the facts. That will help the youth to realize the truths. You the kind of men would not staylive longer, but they the youth should face it.
          :
          Would that be ever possible if CBK-Kadirgamar failed to win the hearts and minds of the international community by getting BANNEd the LTTERs on any rich soils ?
          .
          I now suspect RAJAAKSHE to have killed KADIRGAMAR to the very same manner Mahinda ‘s plan killed BHARATHA lakshman or other then ministers.

          In a few weeks now, these barbarians will SURELY release that convicted MULTI murderer Hiru TV owner’s brother from the prison. Then the entire PRISON community will get angry and Rajakshe criminals and make every efforts to ruin this nation again. Drug kin pins such as HIRU TV owners and the family should be raw burnt if we the srilankens to see a better future.
          If Rajaakshe are that intelligent to settle the long driven civil war, the very same Rajapakshes to fail not having achived the little in terms of permament peace and reconciliation should be explained to all let alone today ? Do you have any clue, as to why they ended up in vain whatever the steps they took but forgetting the real problems of the tamils, muslims and sinhalese. I dont mind me being a sinhalaya, but as one who is living out of country for many years, I constantly question myself, why they Rajaakshes did not make any whole hearted efforts to find solutions to the ethnic problem that took us apart and sent us decades backward over the last 30 years.
          And you will surely now come with that there exists no such ethinic issues for your total ignorance and stupidity.
          What Rajakshes are doing is enjoying HIS KIND OF ABUSIVE politics and power intoxication on the cost of the poor innocient masses.

          • 2
            0

            Now let s look back and question ourselves:
            1) what have they achieved within the last 75 days compared to the previous govt s 100 day program ?
            .
            2) What happened to the promised louudly made to the nation, promising unbelievable volume of pledges just to grab their votes …. not a single pledge pleasing the rural folks has been fulfilled. Even if Good governance govt settled a lot within their first two months alone.
            – 19 Amendment got passed by 99% and commissions were brought back.. that was the first step to have done in order to turn AUTHORITARIAN POLITICS to DEMOCRACY- we are proud of that … as LANKENS actually.

            – they as promised pleased the voters with salary hikes
            – they as promised banned GLYPOSATE that killed the masses in Rajarata farming communitg
            -they curtailed all big ceremonies that wasted the state funds upto 75%
            – they gave 20 000 rps gift malla to the pregnent women
            – they increased the MAHAPOLA bursary from 2000 to 5000
            – they brought back democracy to the manner WESTERN world enjoy it.
            – they won the hearts and minds of the INTERNATIONAL community – remember you idiots ?
            – they saved the Rajapakshe criminals not being taken to HAGUE in the Netherlands
            – And thanks to RW ledership – world welcomed us SRILANKENS again. But media within the country was under the control of BP Rajakshes.
            So whatever good they achieved for the benefit of the masses, it was painted as ” no good”.

            Grass eaters dominated SRILANKA will have to realize them JUST THIS YEAR with nearly 6 billions of US dollars to be paid off as the COUNTRY s debts. Only way out would be more taxes instead of loans….. they will abuse the poor people to the very same manner, how that RACIST Mugabe did it to Zimbabewe.

    • 7
      0

      Long overdue initiative.

      Already some top end universities and business schools have shown interest in getting into South Asia and Colombo is an ideal place. Made to understand that Ranil also wanted to do it but Gamarala blocked it by not releasing state land for the campus.

      Almost 15,000 kids go overseas annually and at Rs 2 m per annum, the total,spend per year is Rs 30 billion. Most course are much more expensive than Rs 2m per year. Corona virus has highlighted the large number of students in China running into Thousands of students.

      Last month heard about the tragic student deaths in Azerbaijan. What a place to study ?

      Why cannot we start private universities in Colombo including medical schools ?

      NSBM is the largest university in SRI LANKA and has 12,000 students and all fee paying and excellent facilities. It is the largest University in SL and even larger than Sri Jayawardhenapura Uni and not a cent is being spent by the GOVT. What a success story !! Those students are not asking for any of the following:
      1Free university education
      2Monthly Mahapola grant
      3Govt jobs after graduation
      4Hostel facilities
      5Pensionable jobs

      Best wishes to Gota and Bandula ,

    • 10
      1

      I am in favor. The previous government had no guts to establish even SAITM, and the owners of that institution lost all they invested. Rather than have our “students” who are so heavily subsidized by taxpayers to walk the streets of Colombo in protest, be firm and introduce this system. Most universities in the West charge their students: students go to a commercial bank and get an extended loan at reasonable interest terms. These loans have to be repaid, no sooner they begin employment. Here we subsidize them from the kindergarten to university and even after they become a professional they continue to skin us (look at the medical profession).

      • 2
        1

        How can you forget that the one who signed the papers for SAITEM Medical College lately said in the parliament that he read Management instead of Medicine.
        The will was there to establish private Unis but those who blocked all that are to say Hallo to it now.
        The loan systems are also been allocated .
        My God what kind of people are these who turned all positives to the negatives those days organising rallies and all kind or everything and now ?

      • 2
        0

        The issue about SAITM was based on antogonism towards Dr.Neville Fernando for leaving the UNP during JRJ’s terminal days.and joining the SLFP.

        Dr.ranjith Attapattu died,why was there no vote of condolence.

    • 1
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 2
      0

      Buddhist,

      “4.Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies (NIIBS)- Manelwatte, Kelaniya”

      “5. Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy (SIBA) – Pallekele, Kandy (Affiliated ”

      Establishing monk hegemony?

      2,300 years of Buddhist studies have corrupted Buddhism, distorted Buddhism , insulted the Buddha and his Dhamma, teachings, and established monk hegemony, and got the innocent imbeciles to prostrate to monks, who were recruited as children, given mink tracing in their backs by the senior monks, to establish the monk training.

      All these add very little economic value other than hegemonic value to the monks , and the politicians who ride in this

      See what The Chinese have accomplished in Tibet to bust the monk hegemony.

  • 16
    1

    It is very good to have a private education system in the country in a competitive manner with the rest of the world to attract to attract foreign student and local students, Private educate system should be regulated and control so that it won’t have an impact on the public education. Also, there should be some form of scholarship program for those students who can’t afford attend the private education program.

    • 14
      3

      There had been lot more investments in that line, if Mr Wickramasinghe would have been given a chance. But the saddest reality is, this country is divided in to two main groups consisting of cultured and the unculatured. When educated Mr WICKRAMASINGHE would handle things with international community in a nice manner, that is being spread iwthin lanka, as if that he would sell the country. But very same is being done by uneducated Rajakashes, people are set in silence mode. All becasuse the media active wthin srilanka is caught by the biggest ever mafia.

      SRILANKA s MEDIA mafia is multiple times stronger than REAL DRUG mafia. That should not any means be UNESTIMATED.

      Derana TV Channel – came into being through black money of Rajaakshe thugs
      Hiru TV Channel – came in to being through DRUG trafficking of that SILVA family. There are enough evidences to prove the truths, but RAJAAKSHES AND DRUG TRAFFICKERS ARE LIKE UNSEPARABLE… birds of a feather flock together.
      Mr Wickramasinghe s situation is he is a pigeon among the cats.

    • 3
      0

      All parents who earn over a minimum income should pay for their children’s education.It should be structured. Mediacl specialists who earn over one million a month should pay for their children and one poor child.Come on PAAAdeniya stop crying, you are not Secretary grade material

  • 8
    4

    Great news. Get Hisbullah to open a few more Wahabi sponsored universities and get more grads from those extremists institutions to become terrorists that will attack not only on Easter but also on Sinhala Tamil New Year, Vesak, Posson, Good Friday and Christmas.

    • 2
      0

      Gummy Baiya,

      The mean IQ of the Paras is 79.
      So they want to open “Buddhist” Universities to train more “students “ who can perpetuate the monk hegemony, by claiming that the monks are the 3rd Gem of the Triple Gem, and get the prostrating imbeciles to accept, that adds no economic value other than maintaining and perpetuating the Monk hegemony.

      With the Wahhabi-Salafis, the same story. Try to maintain the hegemony of the Satan following Wahhabis, per the prescient Hadith of Najd.

      They all promise Nibbana, Nirvana, Extinction,Heaven, 72 Virgins etc. with no conclusive proof. So, more Universities to train more, to deceive more imbeciles.

      They all add very little economic value, but add value to maintaining the hegemony if monks, Ulama and Priests.

      See how the Chinese tackled the Monk hegemony problem in Tibet.

  • 9
    6

    Dr. Christopher William Wijekoon Kannangara must be turning in his grave.

    These plans will take us a step backwards, away from the promised land.

    • 9
      0

      Where is your promised land? After toiling for decades do you really have even a slight hope of reaching?

      What Sri Lanka’s higher education has done is it has served UK, US, Canada, Australia and other western countries well. I am not including ME because you don’t get citizenship and people earning there send the money home and SL earns Fx, People in developed countries settle there. This includes te Presidents son as well as some of his siblings.

    • 1
      2

      There is not vision for higher education suitable for post-independent Lanka. What we have is doing more of the same philosophy. Present proposals seem to follow the same line. Instead, authorities need to focus on what kind of higher education is suitable for us and how to provide it? Here they need to make a distinction between Sri Lankan higher education international higher education. In the former three elements are essential to provide skills and knowledge plus values required for contemporary world:(and courses need to reflect these):

      1. Local Values, heritage, culture including languages, literature, art and music

      2. Knowledge and skills necessary for finding employment in the modern world.

      3. Soft skills such as in IT,English and other foreign languages, Communication skills,Understanding the global society.

      Private higher education emphasises 2 and 3 while neglecting 1. State funded universities and Colleges seem to emphasise 1 and 2.

      It is remarkable and even alarming that no serious independent review of higher education(free education) has been undertaken by successive governments in order to find the strengths and weaknesses in the existing system. I have argued that the existing system needs significant reform in course structures, content etc. Politicians seem reluctant to touch the University system for whatever the reason? Yet keep complaining about lack of employment for graduates etc. while multiplying the same old system to provinces. If we go like this, our degrees will be further devalued by the international community. What is necessary is a quality product rooted in local culture and knowledge systems where we can be proud of.

    • 4
      1

      Spring Koha

      Why do we need more universities, more graduates, more “qualified” stupid unemployed, ……………. what do we get out of them after spending/wasting loads of money and time ?

      What is the difference between an uneducated stupid person and an educated stupid one? Maybe wasted millions.

      • 0
        2

        This is why we need genuine university reforms to correct the system, its ancient courses, dependence on Eurocentric knowledge, old teaching methods, etc.

        I know in one discipline, the so-called professors publish books in Sinhala but they are word to word translations from 40-50 year old books published in UK,USA and Europe. Sri Lankan students are trapped in such old knowledge without knowing or teaching their relevance to the context?

        Such reforms cannot come from within the system.Because those at the top of these institutions do not want to see change.

        Academic departments are organised along old divisions. Those in one department don’t talk to those in the other department. Depts are highly compartmentalised. One’s discipline is considered as superior to others. Don’t see a value on other knowledges including indigenous. Such attitudes have to change. More and more interdisciplinary departments or centres of research and teaching are required to suit the times.

      • 4
        0

        Native Vedda

        I cannot disagree with your comments. In fact I am reminded of the first batch of post ‘Sinhala Only’ graduates who came out most who were totally dissatisfied with the result of three years spent at Uni and being able to just about be fit to work as CTB bus conductors. One who managed to get a peon’s job at the International bank I worked in was bitter that those from private schools employed on the clerical staff ‘only’ had ‘o’ and ‘a’ levels. The man was a JVP sympathiser and went ‘missing in action’ during the 1971 uprising.

    • 0
      1

      Spring Koha, Dr.C.W.W.Kannangara formulated the scheme for the poor not for the rich.See the comment about mediacl specialists, ditto President’s Cponsels, Ditto Buddhist priests.

  • 10
    0

    “There is a very real danger that taxing the system further will result in greater numbers of degree awardees but whose qualifications have less value and meaning”

    More degree holders we have, it is better for the country. So why not if someone can afford it? And I am sure such cases won’t carry placards in front of railway stations for jobs. For instance, Indians easily find better jobs in the middle-east or some other Asian countries compared to Sri Lankans with better talents and the job knowledge but without degrees. How much of foreign remittance we lose here? Not many people out of SL knows or cares about our UGC. Degrees should have the quality, but why are we used to think it has to be a govt university or UGC approved one to have that quality? And we know that our degrees are outdated, not in par with international standards. Then how can we say we have the quality?

    • 0
      5

      Question is whether we need Western style higher education(there are many versions of this including reputed and not so reputed) or Sri Lankan style higher education(I mean education with SL characteristics, qualities, values and identity?

      At present, there are academics who impart Western style higher education in the public and private sectors. This is the case in natural and social sciences. There are a few who impart SL style higher education in the public universities and Institutes. Where do we want to the balance to be? More of Western style HE or more of SL style HE or a combination? I am not suggesting that we reject Western knowledge and skills but arguing that our students need to be given an education re their culture, heritage, values etc too.

    • 0
      0

      Amila W. This country would have produced over 500,000 graduates especilaly in the Art subjects. What has the c ountry achived with them. Majority are from Farmer families, however have they been able to formulate a sc heme to alleviate the poverty in their families? The solution is simple but beyond their grasp..

  • 6
    0

    Excellent idea but the Government should not take the responsibility of providing jobs after the first degree or any other academic qualification.

  • 9
    0

    Private education is a good thing it need not be secrative.
    It is high time that Sri Lanka has an international level private medical college,
    at reasonable fees so that it could cater to the whole of SARC region.

    It will lessen the burden on the government and it will allow government funds to be used efficiently to upgrade the national universities.

    However national universities should not be privatised they should be upgraded and not charge students so that deserving students who are financially constrained will have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

    • 2
      0

      Dear dear Colombo Man,
      .
      What sort of private primary and secondary schooling
      do we now have, before we think of tertiary education? To look at the way private schools in the hill country are being run, I suggest that you go to this unlikely article and the comments that follow.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/indian-consul-india-day-jaffnas-culture-random-thoughts/
      .
      The comments there by me speak of sensational events – in a tea cup! The racist Soma had protested that CT moderators are allowing off-topic comments. A most valid comment, but utterly shallow thinking by her.
      .
      As far as I’m concerned, the most important schools are the little village and estate schools. We must make sure that they turn out happy young men and women who will work, marry and create a new generation of happy students with good values.
      .
      To be Continued . . .

    • 3
      0

      Continuing . . .
      .
      You may say that I’m dreaming.
      May be. You will also probably say that I will never send my two grand-daughters, aged 6 and 4 now, to such schools. You are dead right! They are now fluent only in English, but know some Mandarin Chinese because they are in good International Schools in Malaysia. That is the reality. Mark you this, though: my daughter did put them into the Sinhalese medium class at CMS Ladies’ College last year. The elder kid went to school crying every day because she said that the teachers there were teaching all the time, and my little Kimaya was wanting only to learn.
      .
      My daughter (who doesn’t work now, although she was an HSBC branch manager until the kids popped out of her) said the school was good, but most parents were so competitive that the teachers were not able to be relaxed when teaching.
      .
      My elder daughter just telephoned to say that she had reports that Bishop’s College is very good. All in relative terms,I guess, but I said that I was sure that must be the case because the Principal, Sharmilla Goonetillke is a fine teacher, and a most upright person.
      .
      As for me, let me remain the “gambada iskole mahattaya” whom nobody ever thought of making use of! Forget not to go to Jaffna to learn about Uva!
      .

      • 3
        0

        The teaching profession should be upgraded.
        Invest on teachers and it will never go to waste.

        My daer Sinhala_Man

        In Finland where the education system is one of the best in the world
        Teachers are held in high esteem, teachers are well paid and teaching is the number one profession over there.

        All schools are funded fairly there are no good schools and bad schools all schools are good.

        Parents trust the Teachers ,

        • 1
          0

          Colombo Man@
          .
          I have got to know some University Assi lecturers from SL that have come to Europe for their Master Studies (you can become an assistant letuerer once you have got a first or second upper BSC degree – that is the level of Uni in SL – in EUrope, you can become a lecturer assistant with that qualificaton)- however, the ladder is set somewhat different to that of european unis… that could be the reason lanken Unis to fall far behind on the ranking list.
          :
          About these so called lectuerers -They behaved as if they dont possess the basics in Physics/nor had they general knowledge in many areas but have been graduates for over 3-5 years. They were physical science graduates from local unis. But most of them had no sufficient knowledge apart from the theoretical background. Once I wondered myself how they misled their own children with warm cloths. And how they got on with indoor heating systems.Litte children in the age groups of 3-5 were wrapped around as if they are injured by accidents- all these were in order to protect them from coldness. Coldness is not bearable in winters in Europe, but you also need to use your brain to someextent if you are not familiar with warm cloths.
          :
          How can these graduates lack of general knowledge – our human body breath in and out also through skin – was not clear to them. That again should be an issue for lanken graduates, that dont cover human biology if they are from maths stream. If you cover the body to that manner that alone lead you to become sick right. Those little children got sick on and on, but parents failed to guide them properly. They were also know-all sort of people – not allowing others to help them with instructions.

  • 6
    2

    What will be the Medium of Instruction in these new institutions? Where will the additional teaching staff come from?

    • 1
      1

      The medium of Instruction would be in the Only Language the NA can be sung. Available teaching staff, now driving autos.

  • 6
    1

    Politicians do not value education. They value money and votes. Citizens too would not value education but food and income. As long as knowledge is not valued, deceiving politicians will remain in the saddle. That’s the curse coming from SB and the catalysts.

    • 0
      1

      if people are educated, they will learn about colonial history and find out real identities of them and kick them out of the country. That is why they cut off English language and business education Sinhalese Buddhists and kept English school for themselves and their children.

      Look at these people come out of English school These people feel shame to be a Sinhala and act foreign. These people always lived luxury lives, always controlled every government and kept Sinhala Buddhist as Modayas, they educated them to Modayas to keep power for themselves.
      This is how Sinhalese Buddhist almost lost Sri lanka because foreign spies operated in Colombo freely, carried out thousand of bombs without getting caught to anybody.

  • 8
    0

    Sri Lanka will be better off in Privatizing higher education. Sri Lanka can look at Student Loans and grants for those that cannot afford. As it is the public is funding higher education but most after getting the education want to leave the country.
    I am not blaming them, no one wants to live in a hell hole without much hope for the future.

  • 4
    5

    There definitely needs to be education reform. Not only in Sri Lanka, but all over the world. The primary issue is that virtually every “educational system” is lagging the digital revolution by at least 50 years. To give a simple example, it takes a company just 6 months to train a new employee, but it takes a university at least 4 years to produce a new graduate. If companies spent 4 years training new employees, very few would even exist. Clearly universities are inefficient as a result of not making full use of technology and subjecting students to the traditional routine of endless study and examination based on rote memorization. My proposal is for universities to partner directly with companies. Even if students work for free at the beginning, the practical experience gained is invaluable. Rather than university degrees, switch to full certification programs instead. It should be possible to fully train most students for the workplace within 2 years. I know this for a fact because there are many software engineering venues (not university-affiliated) which teach students programming in just 6 months. Some of these students are even hired by Google and Facebook.

    • 3
      0

      Lester,

      “The primary issue is that virtually every “educational system” is lagging the digital revolution by at least 50 years”

      Since I am actively into this field, let me correct your understandings please: Let’s accept the fact that no university in the world can change their curriculum to adopt the pace at which tech world is moving forward today, let alone SL. Sri Lankan university system is behind in terms of technology but definitely not 50 years, and I would say a decade. To know the facts, check what were the technologies 50 years back and see the curriculum if they still teach those.

      Also I can’t accept that a 6 months certificate program or a vendor certification can make someone a developer or programmer. It needs much, much more to become a developer. Google, Facebook or any other including less popular companies don’t hire someone with 6 month crash course on a programming language. These companies still value degrees and they hire for valuable degrees with empty heads so they can mold them the way they need it. In this instances, these companies provide them with all the professional training needed. Well, a 6 month crash course might be an added advantage and that is all.

      • 0
        3

        Fatima,

        In fact, Google, Facebook and other top tech companies have also reached the conclusion that a college degree is not essential for certain tasks. They are now hiring people without any degree: https://www.businessinsider.com/top-companies-are-hiring-more-candidates-without-a-4-year-degree-2019-4. The reason is that in uni, students learn programming by writing small useless programs that demonstrate knowledge of a particular algorithm. They take separate classes to learn the different parts of the computer, such as operating systems and micro-architecture. When these students join Facebook or Google, they only work in teams…. now the software has 20K lines of code and each member is responsible for 100 lines at most. The quality of the code is held to a different standard; not only should the program execute to give the desired outcome, but the code should be minimal and elegant (like writing a clever proof in maths). This is not a skill that can be taught in uni, it has to be done under the supervision of an expert (tech lead). Because of good mentorship and unlimited practice (with no distractions), new software engineers are able to progress quickly when working at these big companies. What was the use of uni for them? They may have learned some algorithms, that’s about it. My point is that companies can train new graduates more efficiently than universities. Since companies have a greater incentive. If the new graduate does bad work, the company loses money. If a student in uni is performing poorly, the uni will not suffer the consequences.

  • 5
    1

    We need a good private university system to cater to the more affluent students who would otherwise go overseas . Some of the revenue should be utilized to improve state universities. Wonderful initiative.

  • 2
    2

    Under this scheme all are degree awarding Institution and technical collages will no more. Sri Lankan degree holders do not like to do Middle level and operative level jobs. so finding labour for this levels
    will be a grave problem. Sri Lanka already facing sever issues with finding lower level labour not with executive level jobs.

    • 4
      0

      “Sri Lankan degree holders do not like to do Middle level and operative level jobs” – Fact is, Sri Lankan degree holders want govt jobs and not care the level because, less works, job security, public holidays, bank loans, pension ,etc. If it is a tech degree, they want to migrate. These people were a burden on tax payers, will continue to be burden on tax payers, if not, they don’t care giving back something to the country that gave them free education and run away to make more money. Of course, there are exceptions.

  • 3
    0

    People need to be sceptical regarding this secretive plan. Education needs to be privatized because no Govt can provide quality services , for all their citizens. It should have been done years ago. But why now ???and more importantly why secretive ???? My doubts are Govt is running out of money fast, The two major sources of our income, Tourism and Gulf money has taken a severe hit. To make things worse wannabe superpower China is now in quarantine. Due to significant financial impact China will not be able to dole out Lanka as before. Even the projects which are in process will either come to halt or delayed due to lack of finances and Chinese manpower. (China dosent finance for Lanka to employ its own people). So the only way Govt can run business is by privatizing services and assets. By privatizing Govt can get chunk of the money , as in licensing, regulations, permits and taxes.(not counting kickbacks, bribes, cuts). If you look at our neighbors India that is exactly the story today. Also keep in mind politicians will be financing some of these institutions to double their ill gotten money.(just like media)

  • 5
    1

    Bandula Gunwardana is big talker but when it come to work he does not have higher education vision, mission and working skills. He is an economics tution master. He will destroy the quality of higher education system in Sri Lanka, if these proposals are implemented. He receruited some of his henchmen but they also do not have the ability to convert the GR’S vision into reality. GR has seen how the US Universities are working.

    The main issues are employblity of graduates, lack of English knowledge, practical skills and IT knowledge. these are the things that the employers are looking for these days. Budaula has to address these issues but not increasing the degree granting instituions such as Forestry College etc,
    In order to do these things, he has to address these issues as given below:
    1. Intra-faculty enrolment system allowing arts students to take additional majors in job skill areas. Similarly science students can take accounting, business administration and other job related courses.
    2. Conducting the university courses in English.
    3. Increasing the data analysis skills in students by providing computer labs and IT courses.
    4. Expansion of Open University system in all districts with newest technology to enroll students on on-line, external modes. The student needs only computer and internet to complete the degree from home.
    Bandula does not have this vision. He is good to talk in political stages.

    • 2
      1

      Most Academics now working overseas enjoyed free education in SL and ran away without reimbursing the govt for the costs incurred in primary, secondary and tertiary education!!

      Looks like capitalism has finally got the better of most of these guys.

      Better late than never.

      • 3
        2

        Most of the free education graduates leaving SL was not because of anything else but because equal rights was not given to every SL Citizen and also because of the voters sending rogues, rapists, murderers, bookie kings and drug lords to parliament and ruining the law and order of the country.

  • 3
    0

    Sunil .D, I agree with your view. When private education is mentioned people obviously visualize those in West which do provide quality services and employment security. But we must cautious about SARC style private education which a different model altogether. I am surprised how our politicians have tend to overlook this Gravy train.Must be because of potential public stir,especially from youth and students. Here is script of a private education I am well aware of. In India there are institutes which conduct only class 11 and 12 preparing students to crack university admissions. It is actually legalized tuition classes.One of the institute which produces good number of successive students is charging 200, 000 per year. In that the actual money for education is only 50, 000 for which receipts are given and tax will be paid. (most lectures are retired and looking for extra money)Another 50, 000 goes into developing the institute at students expense. So more than 50% is unaccounted and profits. Initially by licensing and permits the politician gets anywhere from 5 to 10 %of the capital as bribe/kickbacks. Government gets some revenue there after yearly as taxes and other fees.

  • 4
    0

    There is not much to privatise!
    /
    The rich no-class from Colombo with drug or other evil money go to a no-name the US State Uni or a College in Australia or (even to Bangladesh, Azerbaijan and Belarus) to buy a degree in business management or fashion design.
    /
    When they come back they become the elite!
    /
    So what is more to privatise?

  • 1
    0

    What? Build more tech. colleges so more people can use the free and/or subsided system to take their brains to Western lands?

    Better it is the put a long program of 20 -30 years for in-country work for present graduates ; those who abscond the system to have their properties and assets confiscated.
    (Somehow it seems cheaper in the long run – far better value for money – to let present day abscondees of the system to ascond, than to build these colleges)

    Guess these “private philanthropists” to the system are present GoSL . Ah well, the money they tucked away is finally being returned to the Suffering Masses. But still it is wrong thinking; wrong planning.

    Rural Govigama agricultural sector should encompass 70% of budget; 20% for services; 10% for Tech.

    Converting 60-70% of country resources (via private business model of sucking money from Suffering Masses), to colleges especially for tech. is going to destroy our cultural base and natural landscapes. At least start experimentally with a 5% jump in Technalities and see how that works for 4 years.

    • 0
      0

      Ramona, Yes, that will provide you with a decent education

      • 0
        0

        Nandamal:
        Of course! If I were a govia , I would be so grateful to see my lands saved for traditional agriculture for posterity. And my education would be tops and pertaining to the land.

    • 0
      0

      ramona therese fernando,
      .
      “What? Build more tech. colleges so more people can use the free and/or subsided system to take their brains to Western lands?”
      .
      Is that the reason you migrated without the brains? :-)

      • 0
        0

        Not at all. I was educated according to what my parents could afford. We were taught to be of use.

        • 0
          0

          Ramona,
          You were educated? where with what? I am surprised.I was under the impression that you were a cook cum toilet c leanre in the ME

          • 0
            0

            Nandamal. Not at all. But I applaud the work ethic of those in the ME. Guess many more will have to go there to pay for your Universities.

  • 4
    1

    Ban the GMOA , have private medical college, save billions, stop sending fee paying sri lankens to china and bangaladesh, for medicine . Have fee based privat colleges in Sri Lanka. If university students strike, ban them from studying free. we need tough love.
    All these doctors in the GMOA are agents for chineese colleges, get a commission for each student they send,

  • 2
    1

    There is a need for Buddhist Universities. Westerners explain Buddhism in their own materials – oriented ways, They are eager to learn. Private Universities are a must in order to stop Brain drain, Money going overseas (parents migrate too in order to teach children), to educate advanced or disciplines that need lot of resources. Only problem is SAITM like universities. Politicians of the both govts connected to SAITM PROJECT earned big money at the University students. None of the career politicians are for the country. They are looking for ways to earn a few hundred millions. Evan Bandula Gunawardane can not be rich the way he is rich with his tuition money and Rs 90 per hour just a Parliamentarian salary.
    I here a well known deputy minister, living near Colombo, who is used to that kind of businesses who sub contracted a sand digging pit from another politician, is thinking of buying Lands In Kataragama area to build FLATS as that is a good development opportunity, probably based on instructions by the same group Boss.

    • 1
      0

      JD ‘There is a need for Buddhist Universities.” True. There is a shortage of cattle meat in the market.Skin the guys from the socalled Buddhist universities and serve the flesh in Beef rolls patties etc.Those who had to eat the flesh of dead contemporaries after the plane c rashed in Alps said that the human flesh was the tastiest they partaken in.You can call it Gon Mus. not Gana mus.

  • 3
    0

    Even this year out of 181,000 University qualified students only about 30,000 or maximum 50,000 will go to universities. Parents who have money send them even to Swaziland for a University degree. Some parents, whole families migrate overseas. Some advanced degree programs can not be begun in Sri Lanka well funded university programs are not available. Sri Lanka can get foreign students and well needed foreign exchange via that. Self employment and moving overseas for employment and many other, e.g. leadership, training executives etc, should also be taught. But, there should not be loop holes for politicians to empty the treasury by way of funding private universities. In the middle officials should be there. I do not know why they cancelled the administrative service in 1963.

  • 3
    0

    These proposals could have significant impact on the nature of higher education in years to come:

    1. Concept of University Colleges: or turning existing Colleges to universities. This has to be carefully done in order to assure the standard and quality. In Australia, similar exercise was done in the late 90s by amalgamating Colleges of education with universities and giving them university status. Thats how now there are about 36 universities.But there were many teething problems.

    2. Increasing the intake to existing universities: Also to be carefully done. If there is no increase in qualified and experienced teachers/lecturers, the standard of our degrees can go down further?

    3. University reforms: a must in order to move with the times. I don’t think there is sufficient attention to this so far?

    4. Free Education Zone(700 acre location) to invite foreign universities. These foreign universities tend to come and sell their degrees to local students so they can make money. Their curriculum is rooted in Western knowledge and biases.Not suitable for local identity, culture and values. Moreover, they do not conduct research as in their own countries. Have to be cautious in moving in this direction.

    5. Skills and knowledge have to be provided for our students to fit into the world and find opportunity but at what cost? Do we have to sell our heart and soul to do this like during the colonial time? What happens to the so-called professionals once they acquire Western style education and move to Countries like the US,Canada, UK and Australia? Most forget SL identity, language, values, culture etc and become aliens. By the proposed measures, brain drain will not stop. It will rather increase.

    Sri Lanka’s universities impart western disciplinary education and their biases as in the colonial times. There needs to be reforms to create a balance between local/indigenous knowledge and Western knowledge. In other words, the University system needs to be decolonised. For this a serious review is necessary as a first step. Unfortunately, proposed plans seem to be designed to increase credentialism at the cost of quality of higher education.They will lead to further colonisation of mind rather than decolonisation.That is my fear.

    I am compiling an article on this subject and hope to release soon.

  • 2
    0

    This is to further my earlier comment.

    Some commentators have mentioned that academics and professionals have left Sri Lanka after free education without paying the education.

    These academics, professionals, and poor ladies working in Middle East doing a great service to the country by sending hard earned , hard currency to Sri Lanka. Plus they spent a lot of money in buying properties and other consumables in Sri Lanka. They buy properties in Sri Lanka. All these are contributing to the development of Sri Lanka.
    We, Sri Lanka, do not have valuable physical resources. But we have intelligent people. So that Government strategy of creating employable graduates and professionals for the overseas employments. This will has a multi flyer effect on the economy.

  • 6
    0

    Where are the GMOA protests?
    Oh! Forgot, those were all political stunt protests! Since their man GR is in the driving seat, the rabid GMOA pimps will stop barking!

    • 2
      0

      I also heard that Dr. Padeniya was saying it was easy to protests and Strikes. I am here now, I do not know what to do. So, he may start protests and strikes after four or five months.

  • 2
    1

    Greetings Dear ,Sinhala Man,
    I endorse your Comment on Village Schools .
    But I also endorse The President’s initiative of Private Unis , if we can turn Sri Lanka into an educational Hub for international Students, it would be a great benefit for the nation.
    But instead of following Singapore LKY’s option of keeping Malay as National language , inclusive of Chinese and Tamils .
    But sticking to English as a working language we wont make it, Thats reality .
    Malaysia never made it half as Singapore , with all its natural resources ,because it adopted Malay not only as National Language, but also as its main business langauge .
    If we must progress and do business with the world English is extremely important and must be encouraged to the entire citizens of the country and we must seriously consider adopting it as our main working langauge .
    Quote:
    LKY Singapore.
    I am a pragmatist ,
    you can’t make a living in Singapore with The Chinese langauge .
    unquote.
    you can find many reasons why he selectected English and today you will note Singapore is a English working / Business nation and extremely successful and at the same time The Chinese are excellent in their Mandarin ; The Malays in Malay and Tamils in Tamil.
    But how many of us are willing for change?

    Its in the decision of the people.

  • 2
    0

    I was never in favour of private universities till now. The reason is that there will be no ragging and strikes in private universities. Those who have to pay for their education will not strike or engage in the pernicious practices of ragging. Are these part of our culture? Our culture vultures must answer. Another thing is English and relevance of courses. We don’t need Pali , Buddhist Civilizationand Sanskrit and other useless subjects which cannot help in earning a living or contribute to development. Private universities teach relevant courses and teach in English. They will not produce narrow nationalist who will lead the country into perdition. Let us have more private universities. Only objection is that the poor cannot afford them. But, it seems that the poor will also pawn their last buffalo to give their kids a chance and not send them to the useless arts faculties of the state universities.

    • 0
      0

      In countries like Australia, arts degrees are still highly valued as they provide students with a broad education, critical thinking ability, etc. This allows them to acquire knowledge in many fields and ability to adapt such skills in a range of occupations. In fact, some employers prefer arts graduates to those with business or technical degrees for this reason.

      The origin of arts faculty in the University of Ceylon-first university (College initially)established by the colonial government called faculty of Oriental Studies is an important one. KNO Dharmadasa,Gerald Pieris and other reputed academics of the arts faculty have documented the origin and growth of this faculty in vivid detail. Later arts faculties were introduced in other universities. In Australian and British universities arts faculties continue with other names such as social sciences. London school of Oriental studies is still there. In China also, study of languages, literature, arts etc. has not been diluted with the growth of other subjects.

      In the search for solutions to arts graduate employability, it is madness to throw the baby with bath water.We need future students, administrators, leaders of various sectors and professions to be equipped not only with certain skills such as English language,IT, Communication . but also a knowledge of local history, culture, heritage, language, values, customs and so on.If not we will be producing human robots. Future leaders need to be able to work not only with their hands (skills)but also the brains(knowledge and wisdom).

      Arts faculties in SL universities have to undergo reforms. My view is that the Departmental structures in such faculties are archaic, promote compartmentalisation rather than interdisciplinary pursuit of knowledge and innovative thinking. We need a credible external review process of our arts faculties and how to reform them to meet modern needs? Some arts faculties embody humanities subjects as well as social sciences(economics, sociology, political science) yet there do not seem to be much synergies between these disciplines? Current departmental structure promote silo(narrow) mentality among staff and students instead of contributing to providing broader understanding of current issues facing humanity.

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    Education is not free, and never was. The so-called free education is funded by taxes collected from people, mainly in the form of indirect taxes. These taxes are embedded in what we pay for the dhal we eat, the bus fares we pay and in other consumer goods and services. This is how revenue is indirectly collected by the government. This burden is mostly on the poor when calculated as a percentage of their income. Ideally, like in many developed countries, tertiary education should be costed and held as a loan given to the student. While it should be ‘free’ upfront, the liability to pay that cost should be upon the student when he/she is qualified and starts to earn. What happens now is that higher education is free to the recipient student but who eventually also charges the very people who paid for their education such as when doctors engage in private practice, teachers raking it in through tuition, etc. The poor masses pay for their education and then have to pay again to get services. CWW Kannangara, A Ratnaike and Oliver Goonatileka, who placed the foundation for ‘free’ education must be turning in their graves!

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    How wonderful to see the glowing contributions in support of private universities. Where is Padeniya and his monkey brigade? The scoundrels must be busy minting money from their new portfolios.

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    If Pandeniya decided to to wag his small tail between legs, GR will apply the same test for patriotism,suggested by Pandeniya, to shut him for good. GMOA (just like the rest ) is nothing but a Sadistic Mafia tool of the current Government

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      I thought Paddeniya has got two tails… and that may be the reason him to have forgotten his beginning. These buggers got their degrees thanks to the tax payers, but to become so swollen, just because they became doctors. In Europe, you have to pay for your education except few countries. But in SL, they let their citizens to become degre holders for free or charge, but after passing out, what they do is like biting the helping hand. Saddest irony is, many of these men and women are so called ” buddhists” or buddhagama adherents. can you imagine ?
      Paddeniya should be hung by his balls for all the high crimes he and his men of GMOA have committed over the years. These men may be dont have melting hearts. They just please vicious politicians for their selfish gains. If Rajapkashes would be back only , Paddeniya or the like abusive doctors could get what they request from STUPID Rajapakshes. THat way only, Rajaakshe created ours a debt-trap number one. They became the richerst and they let the criminals become richt too. That way they built up a cultre that nobody can name as – decent to date. I think people should come to street and protest day long ….. asking justice for the victimized who are the majority in this country.

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    As a student of one of these listed institutions, the misinformed rants in this comments section disgusts me.

    I’m no supporter of the Rajapakses (as the regulars here will know all too well), but this is a good move regardless of who does it.

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