President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that the present education system should be reformed in order to achieve a rapid growth in economy.During the meeting at the Presidential Secretariat today (10) the president advised the vice-chancellors and the officials of the University Grants Commission to revise the university course system in accordance with the local and international job market demand.
President added that Sri Lanka possesses an educated, technology-savvy labour force which is more than capable in aiding and pushing Sri Lanka towards development.President Rajapaksa went on to note that employment generation centered around Tourism, Cultivation and Plantations could jump-start the economy. He highlighted that despite the number of job vacancies in the areas of Medicine, Engineering, Nursing and Information technology the university system had failed to address the issue over the time.
President pointed out that it is absolutely necessary to consider these grave issues when forming policies relating to tertiary education.President further added that the addition of Information Technology and a language as a subject for Arts degrees would pave the way for an expedited development process within the next three years.“University course contents should serve the job market demand and political pressures and other interference should be ignored in this matter. We can never compromise our nation. Take right decisions to make this country strong again”. President requested the Vice Chancellors.
The President stated that it is important to establish a national education policy so that no future government can deviate from the national education policy. President added that for this purpose he would go for a referendum if needed.“The universities should possess the right to select students in accordance with the course content they offer at the university. Building new universities and addressing issues pertaining to other facilities is the responsibility of the University Grants Commission. For student guidance programs in relation to newly implemented courses Ministry of Education can use premises such as the BMICH.” President added.
The president advised the University Grants Commission to relax some of the regulations imposed on law students in the Kothalawala Defence University.President Rajapakasa highlighted the need for the University Grants Commission to oversee the entire education system without confining itself to the administration of universities.
President advised it was wise and appropriate to apply resources into research and technological equipment as it would lead to a more qualitative education framework.President finally advised the officials present to introduce faster internet technology as current university students require speedy access to Information for their researches and experiments.
Minister of Higher Education, Bandula Gunawardana, Secretary to the president, P.B Jayasundara, Senior President’s Counsellor, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Anura Dissanayake, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Professor Sampath Amaratunga and Vice-Chancellors of all the universities were present at the discussion.