Connect with us


More than half of SL population’s economy at risk!



About 12.3 million people out of Sri Lanka’s total population of 22.16 million are economically at risk, a report titled ‘Navigating Vulnerability: Insights from Sri Lanka’s Multidimensional Vulnerability Index’ issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for 2022-23 has revealed.

This was discussed during a meeting of the Committee on Ways and Means held in Parliament yesterday (4).

According to the report, 6 out of every 10 people in Sri Lanka are at risk which is 55.7%. In rural areas this is as high as 82%. Puttalam District is the most vulnerable area with a percentage of 71.8%. The lowest 41.5% is reported from Matale District.

“In Sri Lanka, 55.7 percent of the population grapples with multidimensional vulnerability. Translating to over half of the population, that is a staggering 12.3 million individuals out of the 22.2 million population are deprived in at least three out of the twelve indicators that span the critical dimensions of education, health, disaster, and living standards.

“Almost half of our population (48.8 percent) are both vulnerable and lack disaster preparedness, making this another crucial concern. With climate risks escalating, this poses significant challenges.

“Both male and female years of schooling are key contributors to vulnerability: many households lack any male and/or any female who has completed Ordinary Levels (OL).

“A significant 35.6 percent of our population are vulnerable and lack water piped into their dwelling. This stark fact underscores the necessity to ensure equitable and widespread access to safe water,” the report said.

The Committee on Ways and Means met in Parliament under the chairmanship of MP Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday.

The social welfare programme of the government and the social security network were discussed at the meeting and officials from a number of government institutions including the Department of Social Services, Social Security Board, Welfare Benefits Board, and the Ministry of Finance were present.

According to the UNDP report, the 2019 Easter Sunday attack, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, the economic crisis in April 2022, the budget deficit, the balance of payments crisis, and the debt obligations, the negative 7.8 GDP growth rate in 2022 have led to this situation.

The Committee Chairman said that the UNDP has indicated this risk situation under the three dimensions of education, health and disaster, and living standards. The Chairman pointed out that currently 6 out of 10 people in Sri Lanka are in the risk zone, and this may increase to 8 out of 10 people in a year.

Therefore, MP Ranawaka emphasized the need to prepare a formal and strong social safety net for the vulnerable people. The report has considered 12 factors including the students’ school attendance, health, water, food, the ability to face disasters, the ability to adapt, the quality of life, property, unemployment, lack of suitable work and indebtedness.

The MP asked the officials present about the progress of the survey conducted by the Welfare Benefit Board regarding the ‘Awaswasuma’ benefit programme.

The officials said that 3.7 million families have sent applications and the data have been collected from 3.5 million out of which 1.79 million have been selected as beneficiaries. More than 20 criteria including education, health and economic level have been considered in this process.

New method is even more unsuccessful than previous one!

The Committee Chairman pointed out that the survey has been unsuccessful as it has considered a large number of criteria.

In addition to this, incorrect criteria in the selection of beneficiaries, improper collection of data and information, complexity of the appeal process and inclusion of incorrect information due to faults in the mobile application were also revealed as issues in the process.

MP Ranawaka pointed out that the new method introduced to streamline the process for the selection of beneficiaries has failed more than the existing method.

He said the use of new officials instead of officers with experience in the field such as Grama Niladhari Officers, development officers and agrarian research officers was the primary reason for this failure.

MP Ranawaka pointed out that the experienced officers have not joined the survey due to professional issues, and that they could have been included in it after looking into their issues.


Proposals to reduce school grades from 13 to 12




The Ministry of Education disclosing the proposed new educational reforms stated that it is intended to reduce school grades from 13 to 12.

This was disclosed on 01.12.2023 at the time of presenting the progress of the year 2023 and plans for the year 2024 for the budget of the Ministry of Education by Dr. Susil Premajayantha for the Ministers and Members of Parliament.

Accordingly, the educational authorities stated that through the proposed new education reforms, every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years. Accordingly, pre-school education is classified as 4 years old, primary section 1-5, junior section 6-8 and senior section 9 to 12.

Simplify Grade 5 scholarship

While it has been proposed to give a certain percentage of marks from school-based evaluations and a certain percentage from exams for the Grade 5 scholarship exam, the Ministry of Education has also proposed to simplify the Grade 5 scholarship exam and eliminate competition.

O/Ls in Grade 10, A/Ls in Grade 12

Furthermore, through the proposed new education reforms, the Ministry of Education has proposed to conduct the Ordinary Level examination in Grade 10 and the Advanced Level examination is scheduled for grade 12. It has also been decided to reduce the number of subjects for O/L’s from 9 to 7. Officials representing the Ministry of Education stated that among those 7 subjects, it has been proposed to make it mandatory to study three new subjects; Information and Communication Technology (ICT), technical and professional skills and religious and values.

The officials of the Ministry of Education, who pointed out that more than eighty thousand (80,000) students fail in the ordinary level examination in a year, have suggested that no child will fail through the new education reforms and that all children who passed the ordinary level examination should be given the opportunity to study vocational training courses.

For that, A-level subjects have been classified into two categories as academic education and vocational education and a path has been prepared for every child to obtain a degree. The Ministry of Education also pointed out that two new subjects have been added under academic studies by increasing the current subjects from 6 to 8. Furthermore, the officials of the Ministry stated that the children will receive the opportunity to obtain education through 10 subject areas under practical studies and through that, the children will get the opportunity to obtain degrees by going through vocational fields.

The Ministry pointed out that administrative restructuring is also taking place in the education service. The number of existing educational zones will increase from 100 to 122 and the total number of ten thousand one hundred and twenty-six (10,126) schools will be classified as cluster schools of one thousand two hundred and twenty (1220). All the existing national schools will be a flagship school in a cluster of schools as flagship schools at the provincial level.

Officials of the Ministry said that 517.05 billion rupees have been allocated for the Ministry of Education in this year’s budget for the year 2024. Of this, two thousand million rupees have been allocated for providing school textbooks, six million rupees for school uniforms, and two thousand five hundred million rupees for providing school shoes to seven hundred twenty-eight thousand four hundred and eighty (728,480) children. About 1.07 million school children are currently being given lunch and the same number is ready to be given to 1.5 million children in the year 2024, the Ministry of Education officials said.

Continue Reading


Upul Tharanga to chair cricket selection committee




Sports Minister Harin Fernando today (04) announced that Upul Tharanga will replace Pramodya Wickramasinghe as Chairman of the Cricket Selection Committee.

The minister added that 10 names have already been recommended as selectors and that a new selection committee would be appointed soon.

Continue Reading


SLC complains to CIABOC over ex-sports minister




Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) says that they have formally lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption in Sri Lanka against Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe MP over the alleged misuse of funds provided by SLC to the National Sports Fund for the development of various other sports in Sri Lanka.

A statement issued by the SLC states :

The decision to file this complaint stems from the concern that Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe MP has not appropriately disclosed the utilization of funds allocated by SLC for the intended purposes.

This move comes in the wake of a discernible disparity between the information disclosed to the media by Mr. Ranasinghe MP and the response received by SLC under a Right to Information (RTI) application, outlining the specifics of the expenditures made.

SLC wishes to emphasize the importance of maintaining the integrity of financial transactions and ensuring that funds are utilized for their designated purposes and the said formal complaint filed with the Bribery Commission underscores SLC’s dedication to upholding the highest standards of governance and ethics within the realm of sports administration.

SLC trusts that the Bribery Commission will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter to ascertain the facts and take appropriate action as necessary and Sri Lanka Cricket will continue to collaborate with relevant authorities to ensure a fair and just resolution to this issue, as part of its ongoing commitment to the promotion and advancement of sports in Sri Lanka.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 Sri Lanka Mirror. All Rights Reserved