By Shannon Jayawardena
As education is essential for the overall development of a country’s economy, the Government is very committed to enhancing its quality, stated Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Sri Lanka Early Childhood Development High Level-Meeting held yesterday.
“A fundamental principal of the Government’s economic development policy is the economic empowerment of Sri Lanka’s citizens, and the heart of empowerment is education. It is education at all levels that endorse people with all the necessary skills to actively participate in the economy,” stressed the Minister.
He further emphasised on the fact that Sri Lanka has long taken pride in its strong human development outcomes, especially in education. However there is much more that needs to be done to keep up with global education standards, and the most important focus should be early childhood development. “As Sri Lanka positions itself as a highly competitive knowledge-based economy, robust, cognitive developments from the early stage becomes essential. ECD enhances school readiness, and children increase their retention rate, leading to better results at standardised tests.”
By learning more and for longer periods of time, children are able to benefit the most from the schooling system overall. Furthermore, ECD interventions have better benefit cost ratios than any other program, thus allowing the Government to maximise the returns of the public investment in education, insisted Samaraweera.
“Studies across the world suggest that children who participate in ECD programs attain higher earnings than their peers, and additionally the benefits of ECD go beyond economic growth, as it helps create better human beings,” he added.
Minister stated that investment on ECD thereby helps the Government in providing a social endorsement to future generations, helping reduce income disparities in society. The Government is further committed to increasing investment in enhancing education quality.
See also page 17
Pic by Lasantha Kumara