Sri Lanka President stresses the need to reform tertiary education to adapt to the present world

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has pointed out that the education system in the country is not adapted to the present world and a number of reforms are needed, especially in the tertiary education system.

“There is a mismatch between the education generally on offer in Sri Lanka and what is necessary for our country to develop in the 21st Century. This is why I have constantly called for educational reforms, especially in our tertiary education system,” said President Rajapaksa addressing the General Convocation of Sir John Kotelawala Defense University held at the BMICH, yesterday (09).

“I strongly believe that no matter the degree program followed by university students, they must all graduate having gained at least some proficiency in information technology. They should also receive exposure to other skills necessary for success in today’s world, including critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and English language skills,” the President further said.

“I am pleased to note that several of these reforms have already been implemented by our universities, and that more are to be introduced next year. One of the early accomplishments of my administration was increasing the number of places for students in universities throughout Sri Lanka by ten thousand,” President Rajapaksa added.

“Even with this increase, however, there will still be thousands of students who cannot access university education in Sri Lanka despite passing their Advanced Level examinations. This is because there just isn’t enough capacity within the state university system to accommodate all qualifying students. We need to create more opportunities for our young people to study at universities in Sri Lanka. There is absolutely no reason why these universities should only be state universities. Almost all the best universities in the world are not state universities. Most are structured as independent self-governing entities, charitable institutions, or nonprofit organizations focused on education,” President Rajapaksa said.

“The old objection about higher education institutions outside the state universities being education shops that sell degrees is nonsensical,” the President further said.

At the 32nd General Convocation of Sir John Kotelawala Defense University today, 1,408 graduates received their diplomas in Defense Studies, Management, Business Management, Law, Medicine, Engineering Development Management, Industrial Science, Sociology, Allied Health Sciences and Creative Ecology and Space Science. One PhD Graduate, 227 Master’s Graduates and Postgraduate Diploma holders from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and 1,180 Bachelor’s Degree holders from different faculties of KDU were among the graduates.

President Rajapaksa presented special awards to Cadet Officer S.H. Rodrigo as the Best Army Officer, Lieutenant S.D Karunasena as the Best Naval Officer, Flying Officer S.K.S. Rukshan as the Best Air Force Officer. The sword of Honor for the Best All-Round Performance of Intake 34 was awarded to Lt L.D.I. Liyanaarachchi.

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