President emphasized the need to prevent brain drain to achieve rapid development
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasized the need of preventing brain drain to achieve rapid development in the country.
‘If the Government as well as the private sector can ensure that a high standard of education is provided by local universities and other higher educational institutions, it may even be possible for us to start attracting international students to study in Sri Lanka and convert the higher education sector into a foreign exchange earner for the country’, the President said.
The President made these remarks addressing the Convocation of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University held at the BMICH, yesterday (10).
During this Convocation degrees were awarded to 1282 students. President Rajapaksa presented awards for the outstanding graduates in the year 2019.
The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University was established under the Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy Act No. 68 of 1981 with the aim of producing highly qualified Tri-Forces officers. In the year 2009 the then Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa elevated this into a University. Establishment of the Medical Faculty, registration of local and foreign cadet officers, introduction of Postgraduate degrees for research and development activities, establishment of the Southern University in Suriyawewa and construction of state-of-the-art hospital did under his tenure.
The President said that the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University should strive to be an exemplary higher educational institution not just in Sri Lanka, but in the region as well.
The free education system had a truly transformative impact on Sri Lanka. It should always be protected, the President said that adding that we must allow those who can afford to pay for private education to follow their higher studies in Sri Lanka instead of going abroad.
President Rajapaksa pointed out that we should do a great deal of work to understand the true potential of our education system. The present education system is an exam-centric one. Due to this students’ opportunities for higher learning has been narrowed considerably. Irrespective of the skills, aptitudes and knowledge gained by students throughout their primary and secondary education, their future is effectively determined by their exam results, the President said. This focus on exams has created parental pressure and social pressure on these children. This has resulted in large numbers of children losing out on many opportunities to develop themselves in other ways during one of the most decisive periods in their lives, he added.
We cannot allow our children to lost in this education system, the President said that adding that is why we must broaden the opportunities available for further education through both the state education system as well as through the private sector. It is critical to increase the intake of students into universities and other tertiary education institutions. More investments need to be made to upgrade their infrastructure facilities and increase their human resources, the President said.
President Rajapaksa pointed out the importance of Universities offerings degree programmes in a way which will ensure that their courses will help them to be gainfully employed.
The 21st Century is widely acknowledged as the Knowledge Century. Many new technologies ranging from Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, the Internet of Things, Biotechnology, 3-D Printing, and Automation, will reshape economic growth in developed countries over the coming decades, the President said. He also stated that such transformative technologies must be adopted at their early stages.
The President emphasized that in this context, it is important to stress that the lack of Government resources should not be an inhibiting factor in achieving the broadening of tertiary education options. If we can increase the availability of high-quality tertiary education providers in the country, we can reverse the ‘brain drain’ as well as we can help to reduce significant outflows of our foreign reserves.
The President explained the importance of improving the quality of existing vocational education institutes and technical colleges in line with global standards.
‘As outlined in the “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” Policy Document, which has now been endorsed as the Policy Document of the Government, we have ambitious plans to effect the reforms that are required in the education sector, from preschool through to the tertiary level’, the President said.
Minister Bandula Gunawardena , Defence Secretary Major Gen Kamal Gunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff, tri-forces commanders, Admiral Daya Sandagiri , the Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and the staff of the University participated on this occasion.
It will be a good idea to make it possible to expedite citizenship applications from such people and reduce application fees or abolish for such peoplee. SL is one of the few countries in the world shooting the foot by automatically taking away the citizenship away as soon as a Sri Lankan become a citizen of another country and asking them to re-apply for the citizenship for no other reason than to prop up the treasury. These people will bring both an enormous amount of knowledge as well as wealth if they do not have to go begging for the citizenship they were deprived of. Sri Lanka is not the haven in the world for them to come begging for a citizenship they never renounced.
This ‘tie-coat’ will not travel far my dear Citizens.
Hope the R Family make a strategic decision soon.
Brain drain? What brain drain. Haven’t we got enough brainless cram the old notes and pass the exam so called graduates grouping together and selling pens and pencils in railway stations and bus terminals and some demonstrating on roads causing all type of disruption and get beaten by police? Please don’t stop them draining to other countries because they can find in cleaning toilets and sweeping the roads. Isn’t it better than demanding for non existing jobs here,
You are talking about attracting foreign students to our universities. The only students you get from Africa which have the same mentality of our students,
The importance of improving the quality of existing vocational education institutes and technical colleges in line with global standards is a welcoming plus. At least we can produce some good mechanics, electricians and carpenters etc who will then command top salaries all over the world.
The Mahapola Bursary should be increased, promptly, to LKR 20,000 per month and paid regularly unlike in the past.
In addition, University Students Federation members should be given a free plot of land in a Provincial Capital of their choice.
They should also be given 2 dozens of free high quality condoms to ease tensions.
Around 2012 university lecturers, professor and academic staff demanded high salaries claiming that they could not keep academic staff withing Sri Lanka: they migrate to foreign countries for higher benefits. As a results they now get high salaries. Professor salary is close to Rs.400000/=. Their demand was a misleading and cheating our nation. Our economy can not afford such high salaries.
Most of the professors in Sri Lanka are not in international level and they can never get foreign jobs. Most of professors have no PhDs and publications. Then how they find jobs in foreign universities.
They can not make a knowledge hub Sri Lanka in Asia . But they convert knowledge destroying hub in Asia.
That is precisely one reason the SL government should abolish the application fee and expetite the citizenship applications from the Sri Lankans with PhDs who are living abroad. They can bring up to date knowledge, wealth and also foreign research collaborations.
I strongly disagree with you.
Our professors are all PhD’s and what we pay the is a pittance.
Fundamentally, free education should stop at University Entrance; all university education should be paid by the students.
There should be loan schemes where students can borrow money for their higher education and re-pay when employed through the Tax Office.
Our country (in fact, no country in the World) can afford to fund higher education free of charge.
Unfortunately, the Politicians are blind (example: many taxes were abolished by the current minority govt with a view to winning next elections).
Bas, anything which is free lacks meaning and quality.
You go to university websites and check. There were/are vice chancellors, deans, senior professors and UGC chairman without a single research paper( a good one) or some times a PhD. Some iof them are not literal in English How these gyes could make a Sri Lanka knowledge hub ?
HE president and political authorities should appoint a commission to examine the quality of Sri Lanka university system .