Education Minister announces major reforms for Sri Lanka’s education sector

Susil Premajayantha

Sri Lanka’s Education Minister, Dr. Susil Premajayantha, has announced significant reforms in the country’s educational sector.

These reforms are aimed at improving administration and addressing various challenges faced by schools across the nation.

During a press briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) on Tuesday (May 14) under the theme of ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’, Dr. Premajayantha revealed plans to establish 1220 school clusters nationwide.

These clusters will be overseen by 350 newly formed school boards as part of the initial phase of the reform.

The Minister emphasized that a comprehensive cabinet memorandum detailing these reforms will be presented imminently, accompanied by the issuance of a circular in the near future to ensure smooth implementation.

Reflecting on the challenges encountered upon assuming office two years ago, Dr. Premajayantha highlighted issues such as fuel shortages hindering student attendance, disruptions caused by power cuts, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on educational activities.

However, the Minister also noted significant progress in overcoming these challenges. Measures have been taken to ensure the distribution of textbooks and uniforms for the academic year, and examinations are gradually returning to their regular schedule. Discussions with provincial authorities have led to proposals for the scheduling of G.C.E. (O/L) and G.C.E. (A/L) Examinations in December and August, respectively.

The ongoing G.C.E. (O/L) Examination is set to conclude soon, with paper marking to commence immediately. Advanced Level classes for students who have completed the G.C.E. (O/L) will begin before the release of results, allowing approximately 452,000 students, including 388,000 first or second-time attendees, to enroll by the first week of June.

As part of the educational administration reforms, interviews have been conducted to fill teaching vacancies in various subjects, with over 3,000 candidates appointed based on subject expertise. Efforts are also underway to address issues related to provincial teacher appointments.

Furthermore, measures are being taken to address vacancies within the Education Administration Service, with interviews for 404 positions set to commence next week. The second round of interviews for the selection of 800 teacher educators will also take place soon.

Additionally, a committee has been established to address issues faced by school principals, with a draft Cabinet Memorandum prepared to cover key concerns such as principal allowances and grade elevation.

In conclusion, the Education Minister’s announcement signals a concerted effort to address challenges and improve the educational landscape in Sri Lanka, with a focus on effective administration and resource allocation to benefit students and educators alike.