(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Ranil Wickremesinghe has emphasized maximizing the contribution of youth in the future development plans of the country pointing out that the ‘National Youth Platform’ is a great opportunity for the youth to present their vision of the country’s future to the government.
During a discussion on the special project to be introduced under the National Youth Platform in conjunction with the 75th Independence Day celebration that was held yesterday morning (13) at the Presidential Secretariat, President Wickremesinghe said that the future development plans of the country should be prepared not for today but for the next 25 years.
He disclosed that the expectation is to maximize the contribution of the youth, adding that when the centenary of independence is celebrated in another 25 years, the youth of the country will be the leaders of the country.
Therefore, the President also pointed out that the youth can present their vision, plans and creative skills to the government through the National Youth Platform for building the developed country that they desire.
The preliminary plan for engaging the university system in this project was presented by the Presidential Director of Youth Affairs and Sustainable Development Mr Randula Abeweera.
Accordingly, it was proposed to implement these programs with the participation of the universities based in the districts of Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Kandy and Batticaloa.
The State Minister for Higher Education Dr Suren Raghavan, the State Minister for Technology Kanaka Herath, and the participating university chancellors presented their ideas and suggestions regarding this plan.
This plan will introduce a series of programs mainly targeting the tourism industry. The President also highlighted the importance of engaging the university youth in this program. The President also issued instructions to engage the public and private universities for this purpose.
The President also mentioned that new tourism policies would be introduced next year to promote the tourism industry. In addition, the President presented many plans to be implemented in the future to direct the university system of Sri Lanka on a new path.
The President, who expressed his views on ragging, advised the Vice-Chancellors to implement an organized program to prevent ragging at universities.
The President also emphasized how the structure of the university system should be changed to create universal access to university education.
Simultaneously, a project aimed at promoting the tourism industry in Sri Lanka has been planned to be implemented in the districts of Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Kandy and Batticaloa with the participation of university students. Accordingly, by identifying places with tourist attractions in those districts, the youth have been given the opportunity to submit plans and proposals related to their promotion as tourist zones.
Expressing his views further, the President said that there were practical issues in providing government jobs for university graduates, adding that programs and training courses should be introduced to develop university students’ skills to meet the job market requirements.
The President also emphasized the measures needed to be taken to make Sri Lanka a regional education hub, also pointing out the possibility of providing an opportunity to students from regional countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, to study in Sri Lankan universities.
In addition, the President also mentioned that another state university is planned to be established in the Kurunegala District.
Minister of State for Higher Education Dr Suren Raghavan, Minister of State for Technology Kanaka Herath, President’s Secretary Mr Saman Ekanayake, Chairman of the University Grants Commission Professor Sampath Amaratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Education M.N. Ranasinghe and many university vice-chancellors participated.