Columnists

A constitution is only as good as its society

Views - 1865 Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:00

These are not ideal times for constitutional changes, in Sri Lanka in particular. There is still too much meanness and the atmosphere is still racially charged. But we may not have another chance. The present national government, strange


Values for the 21st century

Views - 1413 Wednesday, 13 January 2016 00:00

     President Maithripala Sirisena was elected on a platform that emphasised values. “A man to restore disappearing human values” was the theme of the campaign video. It is not an easy undertaking and th


National Human Resources Development Council should be more strategic

Views - 1774 Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:00

It is good news indeed that the National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC) has been rescued from obscurity and placed under the Ministry of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs, under the guidance of the P


A skills development policy framework for achieving Budget 2016 objectives

Views - 2373 Wednesday, 9 December 2015 00:00

The 2016 Budget of the Government of Sri Lanka identifies several key issues facing skills development in the country. Foremost is the familiar story about gaps in the supply of skills and the mismatch between supply and demand. More significant i


SAITM and issue of access to professional education in SL

Views - 4581 Wednesday, 2 December 2015 00:00

  The first batch of MBBS graduates from SAITM is expected to be announced in 2016. However, the Sri Lanka Medical Council had informed the Minster for Health by a letter dated 25 September 2015 that “The degree awarded by SAITM


Budget 2016 and the ‘light-touch’ education policy changes therein

Views - 4682 Wednesday, 25 November 2015 00:00

  While the Government provides the infrastructure, the potential to transform education is in the hands of the National Institute of Education which is responsible for curricula and teacher training and development. The spotlight rea


Cultural divide in higher education and elsewhere

Views - 2267 Wednesday, 18 November 2015 00:00

  We often hear the refrain that rural youth are smart enough, but their lack of English language skills is a major problem and so on. However, after working with local government councillors, school teachers and rural youth


Lessons on moral authority from a venerable monk

Views - 3309 Wednesday, 11 November 2015 00:00

With Venerable Sobitha Thero’s departure, the best we can do is to learn from the path he followed and continue his efforts to engage and agitate for change. The Ven. Thero exercised a kind of moral authority unseen among the Buddhist clergy


Beyond policy silos – towards a unified qualification framework for Sri Lanka

Views - 2364 Wednesday, 4 November 2015 00:15

The HND accountancy drama a few days back is a manifestation indeed of education policy making at its silo worst                                   


Increased funding for education calls for ‘genuine’ decentralisation of education administration

Views - 2300 Wednesday, 28 October 2015 00:00

The ‘Nearest school is the best school’ slogan adopted by the Ministry captures the essence of the solution we need in education today       Three rights are to be enshrined in a


How good are our universities?

Views - 2748 Wednesday, 21 October 2015 00:00

We have 15 universities proclaimed to be institutions of higher learning by relevant Acts of Parliament, but, are they institutions of higher learning in practice?       The need for creative


The role of universities and research institutes in an innovation economy

Views - 2336 Wednesday, 14 October 2015 00:00

  Universities in Sri Lanka indeed need to be drawn into the innovation economy, keeping in mind that the primary role of universities in providing the advanced human resource capacity for innovation and that a supporting industry bas


Embrace tuition to empower teachers?

Views - 1664 Wednesday, 7 October 2015 00:00

   Schools and teachers function in an extremely competitive environment where every parent aspires for the best for their children and the best is measured by success at examinations      


Can values be taught in schools?

Views - 2510 Wednesday, 30 September 2015 00:00

Family, religion and schools are typically seen as three main institutions through which values are passed on to the next generation. Schools always come to the forefront in public discourses about values since they are perhaps relatively


Technology, students and learning

Views - 1989 Wednesday, 23 September 2015 00:00

  Unlike Europe, the majority of our children come from homes where technology at home is a pipe-dream     New studies point to practical approaches for Sri Lanka ICT has offered much p


The real issue is not the size of the Cabinet but its performance

Views - 1756 Wednesday, 16 September 2015 00:09

There seems to be much dissatisfaction about the size and the composition of the present Cabinet, but, it is time to accept the state of affairs and turn the spotlight on the performance of the Cabinet Ministers.  Splintering of responsibil


Making sense of the 48 portfolios in the new Cabinet

Views - 2752 Wednesday, 9 September 2015 00:00

Ranil Wickremesinghe no doubt would have liked to have a lean and mean Cabinet but the voters of this country have forced his hands otherwise     The increase of ministerial portfolios from 30 t


A Research Institute for Diyawannava – An idea long overdue

Views - 2643 Thursday, 3 September 2015 00:00

  A key proposal during the opening session of the eighth Parliament was the proposal by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to set up a Parliamentary Research Institute   The opening session of the eighth Parliam


Drivers of change and education reforms

Views - 2310 Wednesday, 26 August 2015 00:00

Education, school education in particular, is an area where is efficiency of government is paramount; more importantly, radical new ideas are needed here   Education is one of the five thrust areas in the UNP manifest


A functioning state should not be seen only at election time

Views - 1832 Wednesday, 19 August 2015 00:00

  An election is an instance when we see our State apparatus at its best     The distinction between the state and the government is not always clear. Strictly speaking, the government is made up of elec


Election promises and the youth vote

Views - 1983 Wednesday, 12 August 2015 00:00

  Currently there are 2.4 million or so youth between the ages of 18-24. The oldest among this group turned 18 during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first presidential term       The youth vot


Today's Columnists

4-day work week: A solution to many problems?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

A three-day weekend every week and only four days of work a week. The idea would seem too good to be true for many. But this is an idea that is being experimented in the West and some companies have already started out on a four-day work week. How ab


Christchurch massacre and the Australian Labor Party

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name… He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless… And to others I impl


Political bait to woo the professionals or a genuine effort to build the economy?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

It has been a forgone conclusion that Sri Lanka’s current economic woes have been precipitated by the debt burden the country has to serve in the short term and the negative Balance of Trade. Whilst improving tax collection is a temporary measure t


Handagama’s Asandimitta: Not mere psychoanalysis; sociocultural, political and economic analysis too

Monday, 25 March 2019

Sri Lanka’s award winning film director, Asoka Handagama, screened his latest creative work, Asandimitta, before an invited audience in Colombo last week. This was a prelude to its public release, which was to be commenced immediately. Handagama i


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