Home / TOP STORY/ Dhammika shows way out of middle income trap

Dhammika shows way out of middle income trap


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 11 October 2018 00:00

Facebook

Vallibel Finance Chairman Dhammika Perera – Pic by Lasantha Kumara

 

  • Says education is key; calls for hike in Budget allocation for education
  • Suggests branches of popular national schools in suburbs may help tackle Colombo’s traffic congestion
  • Encourages CAs to take up challenges for better career growth
  • Next social project aimed at web-based mathematics teaching to 10,000 underprivileged O/L students 

By Charumini de Silva and Ruwandi Gamage

Business tycoon Vallibel One Plc Chairman Dhammika Perera yesterday said quality education to a wider audience was the only solution to escape the middle-income trap, a well-kept secret that many developed economies have practiced.

Sharing his visionary thoughts towards a sustainable economic development at the Technical sessions of the 39th National Conference of the Chartered Accountants themed ‘Hyperleap,’ Perera highlighted the need to increase the Budget allocation for the education sector, insisting that it would help build the lives of the socially and economically challenged communities in rural Sri Lanka.

“Quality education is a key cornerstone in developing our economy. Having an educated human capital is one of the main components that investors watch out for, apart from Doing Business Index ranking, a sound public transportation system and cheap energy,” he pointed out.

Noting that only 4% or 25,000 graduates were employable, he said that a system needed to be developed to absorb the remaining 96% in economic activities.

“I think we need to build a system where the Government can invest on their education, where the beneficiaries’ knowledge transpires into Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he added.

With a total of 10,500 schools islandwide, Perera pointed out 2,900 schools lacked proper sanitary, water and electricity facilities. However, these are the schools that the majority of underprivileged children attend. “To build proper infrastructure in 1,000 schools, we can roughly estimate a cost of Rs. 300 billion, along with the inclusion of smart classes in schools that lack competent teachers,” he stressed.

He also emphasised on the need to open up branches of popular national schools in the suburbs, pointing out that it would help children who attend these schools as well as tackle traffic. “Instead of concentrating only within Colombo, I think it is important that these popular schools branch out to areas such as Maharagama, Homagama, Panadura, Moratuwa, Wattala and Ja-Ela to better accommodate students coming from these areas. It also can work as a solution to beat traffic within Colombo,” he added.

Considering the evolution of the education benchmark, Perera said a bachelor’s degree taught in English would be the key yardstick for future employment.

“Although leaders of developed countries and international funding agencies keep pointing out that Sri Lanka is in a middle income trap, no one is really saying that the solution to get rid of it is education. Lee Kuan Yew had written many books, but he never mentioned education because it is a practical solution that can be executed within three years if there is a proper system in place,” Perera stated.

In terms of availability of chartered accountants, he said that there was a lack of qualified chartered accountants applying themselves to positions apart from their safe zones, which hindered them from seeking their true potential.

“When the average number of students passing as Chartered Accountants is as low as 300 per annum, they will definitely have opportunities in the accounting field, hence they are reluctant to explore other sectors beyond their comfort zone. Right now, accountant professionals are caged into their fields, but if we can at least increase this number to 700 students per year, then they will at least look for opportunities in other sectors,” he said.

Reiterating that there was no point in criticising the Government, he said that as a business community they should be able to provide solutions to the Government, adding that he had submitted several proposals similar to legal drafts that could be implemented.

Perera, who has built 1,000 fully-fledged pre-schools in the country in his personal capacity as a businessman over the past two years, said his next social project was aimed at teaching mathematics to 10,000 underprivileged Ordinary Level (O/L) students via web-based classes.

 

 

 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Our Cricket Board simply cannot deliver – why not they all quit honourably?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

“It is necessary, therefore, for the Government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket [board] and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our glorious game.” Question for Sri Lanka Cricket (board) Sri La


Yesterday Tamils, today Muslims and tomorrow who?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

From the time of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s election victory in 1956, one and only one issue had dominated political party campaigns in this country; and that was communalism. The Tamil community was the main focus of these campaigns for over 50 years


Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


Columnists More