Feb 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he expects to make a drastic change in the education system in the current government’s education and development strategies.
He said the children of the future should be equipped with the skills and knowledge to overcome the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead.
“We need to have a vision and a plan if we were to get out of the mindset of a developing country and make real progress,” the President said addressing an event in Colombo.
The President Friday declared open the new seven storied building of Ananda College built at a cost of Rs. 620 million. The inauguration of the new building was a special occasion to the President as the country’s first and only Executive President produced by the Ananda College. This is also the first seven-storied building of a school in Sri Lanka.
The new building comprises 44 classrooms for junior and senior high students, laboratories, computer rooms, rooms for aesthetics, dance, music, the main library, teachers’ rooms and a medical center.
The foundation stone for the new building was laid on January 1, 2015 by then Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena when President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was the Defense Secretary.
Addressing the gathering, the President said the present government has a vision and plan to change the education system to fit the new world.
“There is much work to be done in the future. There are many challenges to overcome. As a nation that has overcome the grave challenges of the past we can do so in the future. This requires unity and proper leadership,” President Rajapaksa said.
He pointed out that the time has come to move from teacher-centered and exam-centric education to student-centered education.
“From the day the children are admitted to primary school until the day they leave the school, the parents' concern is somehow to make them pass the exams,” President Rajapaksa said stressing that parents should not put undue pressure on children during school life.
“We need not only to prepare children to sit for the examinations but also to have a perfect child who can actively contribute to the economic and social progress of the country,” he pointed out.
The President stated that his main objective is to create a high quality tertiary education system and annual enrollment plans for universities are now being drawn up.
The 21st century is known as the century of knowledge. This is a great opportunity for Sri Lanka. We have limited opportunities for manufacturing industries. Fortunately we have an intelligent workforce and we should take maximum use of our workforce,” the President said.
Anunayake of the Malwathu Chapter Ven Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thero, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Ministers Dullas Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardena, Prasanna Ranatunga, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Members of Parliament, Governor of Western Province Dr. Seetha Ambepola, Principal SM Keerthirathne and the staff and Old Anandians from various fields were present at the occasion.