Systemic education reform is a key priority for the Government of Sri Lanka. The aim of our education work, under our TRANSFORM programme, is for all young people to benefit from access to learning opportunities, provided by a fit-for-purpose and relevant education system, that will support them in fulfilling their potential, achieving their aspirations and contributing to Sri Lanka’s economic and social development. As a convener and thought leader, we engage with the relevant ministries and departments across secondary, vocational and higher to focus on the whole system across the key areas of professionalisation, quality assurance and transitions to employment.
We are facing an unprecedented time of uncertainty as the Covid19 pandemic continues its progression across the globe. Communities are affected not only in terms of their health and wellbeing but also in terms of their livelihoods. As elsewhere, the economy of Sri Lanka has been badly affected and our attention must turn to economic recovery. As education practitioners, we believe that education is key to economic recovery in developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours that will allow young people to rebuild their own and the country’s future.
We are bringing together key policy and decision-makers from both the education sector and private sectors to consider what actions can and need to be taken to support economic recovery. To add an evidence-based dimension to the debate, we are now issuing a digital version of our Current Challenges, Future Directions research report, first launched in December 2019. Bringing an international perspective to the debate on education reform, critical in a global economy, we commissioned UK institutions and individuals to carry out research in a wider range of areas from English language assessment to student participation in quality assurance and linking learning and career choices to the world of work, and whole school culture.
The response to the research results has been overarchingly positive with the different ministries committed to utilizing the findings and recommendations of the research reports in addressing the key challenges faced in developing a strong internationally benchmarked education system. It is even more important to act on these recommendations in the post-pandemic context.