Fifteen young public sector officials have successfully completed two-year Masters Degree programs in Japan under the Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Programs and returned eager to share their new knowledge and skills for the development of Sri Lanka.
They are the first batch of fellows who have qualified at leading universities in Japan. Namely the International University of Japan, International Christian University and Hiroshima University. They have specialised in fields that are of vital importance to development such as public policy and public finance, public administration, regional development, macro economics and development economics.
The wrap-up component of the JDS Program for the academic year 2010-2011 took place on 26 February 2013 at the Ministry of Finance. The reporting session provided a platform for the presentation of key findings of the Masters Degree research, sharing of knowledge obtained and discussing experiences of stay in Japan. The participants made presentations relating to the subject areas they had followed in Japan. Namely: public administration, public policy and public finance, regional development and macro economics and development economics. They explained how they would utilise this experience for strengthening the public sector institutions that they were attached to for the benefit of Sri Lanka.
The participants maintained that they not only enhanced their knowledge and acquired new skills relating to their subjects but they also gained valuable experience to improve their lives as a whole, balancing work, learning and family in a disciplined manner.
Amongst the guests at this event were Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning and members of the JDS Operating Committee, which consists of representatives of both Japanese and Sri Lankan organisations, such as the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ministry of Public Management Reforms, Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka and JICA Sri Lanka office.
The JDS Committee congratulated the Fellows on the successful completion of study and encouraged them to contribute to the development of Sri Lanka through their respective ministries and places of work.
Addressing the gathering, Senior Representative of JICA Tetsuji Iida congratulated thee participants and appreciated the feedback they gave. He said that JICA was keen to see the progress that they would make in utilising the knowledge and experience they gained in Japan for the development of Sri Lanka and encouraged the participants to continue their collaboration with Japan through the Alumni Association. He stated that JICA expected to increase support for such programmes for Sri Lanka.
The JDS Program was started in Sri Lanka in 2009, with the assistance of the Government of Japan. The program aims to support public sector officials who are engaged in formulating and implementing social and economic development plans. .
Up to date, a total of 45 public sector officials have been sent to Japan. Under this program 15 have completed their Masters Degrees so far. This year, 15 new Fellows are expected to be sent to Japan.