Tuesday 03 May 2016

On Tuesday 03 May, the British Council invited a distinguished audience to the Taj Hotel to the launch of the local publication of Professor Angela Little and Professor Siri Hettige 'Globalisation Employment and Education in Sri Lanka' and the panel discussion on these topics at the Taj Hotel. This was first published in the UK by Routledge in 2013. Angela Little is Professor Emerita at the University College London Institute of Education and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has been involved in Sri Lanka in a variety of capacities since 1975. Siri Hettige is retired Senior Professor of Sociology, University of Colombo. He has published widely on such themes as youth, education, social and political conflict, social policy and governance and development. Dr Nisha Arunatilake, a panellist, is a research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies in Sri Lanka.  She has more than 18 years of experience in conducting policy related economic research in public finance, education, health, employment and labour market policy.  The Director of the British Council expressed regret for being unable to attend because he was accompanying a senior Sri Lankan delegation to Cape Town for the Going Global event. He sent a message, “The British Council is delighted to be involved in republishing locally this volume that provides fascinating insight into links between globalisation, employment and education in the current stages of Sri Lankan development.’ He also thanked Sarasavi publishers for stepping in at the last minute to publish the work.

The book compares two periods of economic change: 1956-1977 and 1977 to present day. It explores how this transformation has impacted on education, youth employment and equality of opportunity in the country. The book focuses on the country’s movement from a mostly agricultural economy to one of service and manufacturing with simultaneous unemployment reduction, an improvement in educational and occupational levels and hopes and poverty reduction. Both authors presented highlights from the book and the panellist commented on the topics followed by a question and answer session with the audience.  After the launch, both authors were available to sign copies of the book.

Sarasavi Publishers were responsible for printing the book. Royalties from the book will be donated to the Ceylon Worker’s Trust (CWET). (CWET) offers competitive bursaries to support A-level and University studies among the children of plantation workers, Tamil and Sinhalese. Established in 1947, the trust is chaired by the Indian High Commissioner and selections are made through rigorous competition. Last year CWET awarded 350 bursaries. Mr Joseph who manages the fund from the Indian High Commission was present at the launch.

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