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A/L results could be released in mid August – Minister

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The country’s education system will undergo an educational transformation and essential measures will be taken to produce students who are prepared for the twenty-first century, Education Minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha said.

According to the Education Minister, human resources will be managed for that purpose and education will be reformatted in accordance with worldwide standards in order to produce a sustainable and high-quality education.

He also said that the results of the last GCE A/L examination could be released in the middle of next month while this year’s A/Level exams are scheduled to take place in December.

Minister Premajayantha expressed these views today (10) during a press conference themed ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ held at the Presidential Media Center (PMC).

The Minister added that the ‘Suraksha Sisu Rakshanaya’ insurance scheme introduced for school children which was suspended due to the financial crisis will resume in 2024.

Education Minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha further commented;

In developed countries, the Ministry of Education acts as a separate entity from the Central Government and a Provincial Minister is in charge of the Ministry of Education. The educational rights of children in countries like India, Canada and Japan have been safeguarded as a result of this educational pattern. 

The Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka is under the control of the Central Government. All schools in our country, with the exception of 399, are governed by the Provincial Ministries of education. The initiative to establish 1,000 national schools was launched in 2001. When the 13th Constitutional Amendment was initiated, there were 17 national schools in this country. However, as a result of political initiatives or the requests of individual Education Ministers, there was a dramatic rise in the number of national schools. However, one cannot say that it led to high-quality education. There was a period in time when 28 national schools were created overnight. But right now, the education industry needs to undergo a transformative change. Instead of the exam-centred education system, students should be aligned in a student-centred education pattern.

There was a significant setback in education as a result of Covid-19 and the recent economic downturn. Additionally, socio economic issues made it impossible to run the schools effectively due to fuel and gas concerns. Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) and Teacher trade unions did not attend to evaluate the answer sheet of the Advanced Level examination. The evaluation of the A-Level exam questions has been completed, and that matter is now resolved. I think the exam results could be released in the middle of next month. The A-Level exams for this year are scheduled to take place in December, according to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education has taken steps to hold all the examinations in the prescribed year.

Also, the program needed to reform the new education is currently being implemented. Plans have been made to start teaching activities through English medium in association with the British Council. For this purpose, 13,800 teachers have been trained so far. The updating of textbooks for English was also started promptly.

The addition of Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology to the curriculum is proposed for two grade levels, Grade 6-9 and Grade 10-13. We are attempting to secure Information Technology assistance for this from companies like Microsoft.

About fifty principal positions are open. While conducting a competitive examination for the recruitment, a trade union went to court and got an injunction. For the recruitment of teacher administration services, there are roughly 22000 openings. Government employees who applied for the position have also gone to court to explain why they are unable to take the competitive exam. The recruitment process has thus far been delayed as a result. Due to 100 people’s human rights being brought up in court, 4.2 million students’ human rights have already been violated. As a result, we think the court will rule on this issue quickly.

We are working to continue the ‘13 plus’ education program presented by the President when he was the Prime Minister. A selection committee has been established to expand the education sector and the necessary proposals are currently being prepared. Accordingly, the necessary program to expand education will be prepared jointly with Non-Governmental Organizations in the future. Arrangements are being made to provide loan facilities to Non-Government Universities as well as to create an environment where they can contribute to the economy of this country.

It is intended to establish a training University in Kotagala to train students who choose to go to a plantation in order to safeguard the educational rights of the children of estate workers. By substantially bolstering the regulating program of private and international schools, we are committed to ensuring children’s right to education. With regard to all of these issues, we are working to bring about a change in education from next year.

(PMD)

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Presidential poll will be held first as scheduled: President affirms

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed that the Presidential election will be held as scheduled with the General Elections anticipated to be held early next year, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The President gave this assurance during a meeting with the representatives of the United Republic Front headed by by its leader Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka at Sirikotha today.

The United Republic Front presented a proposal titled “A United Step for the Country” to President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (24), at ‘Srikotha’, the United National Party headquarters in Colombo.

After engaging in discussions with the President, the leader of the United Republic Front, Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka, along with his delegation, presented this proposal to the President.

Speaking at the event, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the government’s concerted efforts over the past two years to stabilize the country’s economy, which had faced significant challenges. 

Stressing the government’s commitment to steering the economy towards recovery through strategic reforms, the President expressed his determination to continue these initiatives with the collective support of everyone.

Recalling his open invitation to all political parties to unite under a common agenda on behalf of the country, regardless of political differences, the President reiterated his willingness to embrace constructive proposals from all political parties as part of the nation-building efforts.

The President responded positively to the request made by MP Patali Champika Ranawaka to allow other political parties to participate in the upcoming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month concerning the restructuring of foreign debts.

United National Party Deputy Leader and President’s Senior Adviser on Climate Change, Ruwan Wijewardena, along with Secretary General of the United National Party Palitha Range Bandara were also in attendance at the event. 

Representing the United Republic Front were Karu Paranavithana, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe and Attorney-at-Law, Shiral Lakthilaka.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Dedicated SLBFE office to be established in Kegalle district

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In response to a joint request from the Kegalle Migrant Workers Committee and the Kegalle District political authority, Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara has assured the establishment of a dedicated Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) office in Kegalle District.

The request was presented during the Jayagamu Sri Lanka program organized by the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment in Kegalle. 

The Committee emphasized the need for an SLBFE office in the district, which has the highest number of migrant workers in Sabaragamuwa Province.

Commending the Minister for his prompt action in establishing a new SLBFE office in Nuwara Eliya District following a similar request, the Committee expressed confidence in his swift response to their current appeal. 

Minister Nanayakkara pledged immediate steps to open an SLBFE office in Kegalle and instructed officials from the Ministry and SLBFE to take the necessary actions for its swift establishment. 

This move aims to enhance support and services for migrant workers in the district.

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Parliamentary committee demands CBSL report on salary hike amid criticism

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Amidst growing criticism over the substantial salary hike for Central Bank employees, a key parliamentary committee has taken action, demanding a report from the Central Bank regarding the legal basis for such an increment without parliamentary approval.

Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis, MP Gamini Waleboda, disclosed that the issue was raised during a committee meeting where Central Bank officials were present.

The Central Bank is now expected to submit a comprehensive report on the salary increment in the coming week. Following the submission, the Sectoral Oversight Committee intends to summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board for further examination.

MP Waleboda highlighted that the committee expressed strong criticism of the 70% salary increase for Central Bank employees, especially given the ongoing economic crisis, deeming it an immoral act.

“We instructed the Central Bank to provide a report by next week to justify the salary increase. They will need to provide the legal provisions that empower them to effect such an increment. We will summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board after receiving the report,” stated MP Waleboda.

Both government and opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) have voiced objections to the Central Bank’s decision to raise the salary scales by 70%, with Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella asserting that the Central Bank Act lacks provisions for such salary increases without parliamentary approval, deeming it illegal.

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