July 12, Colombo: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed Minister of Education to bring in new legislation to create a national education policy.
The Prime Minister addressing a function organized by the Ministry of Education at the Temple Trees today to award Subhaga Scholarships to students who excelled in studies as well as in sports and aesthetics, said a number of developed countries have enacted laws on quality of education and Sri Lanka also should enact laws on standard of education without delay.
"There is no standard in our education sector. We must bring that standard. Only the countries, which create standards of the education sector, are able to move forward internationally. If we do not have an education standard in our country, all schools will not be able to continue to develop. Then only a few schools in the country will go forward," the Premier pointed out.
The Premier pointed out that if teachers and facilities are provided for under privileged schools and implement standards, they will be able to perform better.
The Prime Minister said their first attempt was to sort out the problems initially. Since this is in place they should next move to the second aim. It is to develop the standard of education.
In his address the Premier said national policies are developed through the central government. "We must state what the national education standard is. Laws have been developed on the quality of education in a number of countries, including New Zealand. Therefore, a law on standard of education should be developed. After a two to three year period, schools should operate according to these standards. We also need to decide on the teachers and the directors who will not implement these standards."
Speaking further, the Prime Minister said the teachers should demonstrate their talents, talents of students in their classrooms, skill of the school, etc. progressively.
"The quality is not expected in the first year of implementation. We expect it to be progressive. The establishment of this standard should be enforced by law. Also, recruiting teachers to schools should be done under this methodology."
In about four years only those with the teacher certificate will be recruited as teachers for schools and the Ministry of Education should be prepared for that, the PM said adding that the government is ready to provide more time for teachers who have been recruited from the examinations, to obtain the required teacher certificate.
"If the program is not implemented, then the entire Ministry should be punished by the law. Therefore, the work should be carried out during the next 4-5 years," the Prime Minister added.
"Education is a big part of our development plan. Already we have introduced 13 years of compulsory education, launched the Nearest School is the Best School program and we are investing in teachers," the Premier highlighted.
Addressing the gathering, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that it is the human resources that could be developed in the country. He said that they have selected talented young men and women from the North, the South, the East and the West as recipients of the Subhaga scholarship.
The Subhaga Scholarship is being given to 1000 school children selected from among applications called in last year from school children possessing significant capabilities. A financial contribution of 50,000 rupees each is being given to scholarship recipients for a period of 20 months. Applications can be submitted for scholarships under the sports, innovations and aesthetic fields.
The aim of this program is to identify and encourage creative children through schools excelled in skills and who could surmount future challenges.
Children pursuing studies in Advanced Level Classes can come forward during the year in which applications are being forwarded.
State Minister of Education P. Radhakrishnan, Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Hettiarachchi and several officials of the ministry also participated in the occasion.