Sri Lanka has universal primary education and strong literacy rates. But unemployment among its young people is very high at around 17% versus an overall jobless rate of 4%. Often, even if young people finish high school or college they do not have the technical skills that the new job market needs. In the small village of Koruwawa, in the northwest province of Sri Lanka, the town’s only high school includes a computer lab that is helping students stay up to date. The school is one of thousands that have been upgraded across Sri Lanka - improving skills in science, English, and technical subjects like computing. The improved schools are providing hands-on experience that is helping students become better prepared for the workplace.
Title: Learning the Modern Skills that Employers Need in Sri Lanka
Description: School students in Sri Lanka are learning computing, languages, and other critical thinking skills to prepare them better for the workplace.
VO: A change in global economic landscape means that new skills are in demand. And in a small village of Koruwawa in the northwest province of Sri Lanka. Students are preparing to state their claim.
This computer lab offers 40 computers in Koruwawa’s only high school. And students are clamoring to receive essential hands on experience and become skilled in ways that will make them become better prepared for the workplace.
SOT: D.M Nilanka Sanjeewani
Student, Koruwawa High School
Not only students in the ordinary level stream, but students in the tertiary level are also keen to pursue computer studies in this laboratory.
VO: Many students of Koruwawa High School are now employed in computer related fields, which are increasingly in demand as Sri Lanka’s economy grows and develops.
Sri Lanka has universal primary education and strong literacy rates. But unemployment among its young people is very high at around 17% versus an overall jobless rate of 4%. Often, even if young people finish high school or college they won’t have the up to date technical skills that the new job market needs. The Ministry of Education recognizes this issue.
SOT: Anura Dissanayake
Ministry of Education
That’s why there’s a common criticism that our schools, kids are not soft skilled or not really market oriented and things like that.
VO: Outdated school curricula, insufficient qualified teachers and unequipped classrooms have all contributed to the problem. The Asian Development Bank has been working to upgrade thousands of high schools across Sri Lanka - improving skills in science, English, and technical subjects like computing.
SOT: R. Kasunara
Education for Knowledge Society Project
The main goal is quality in relation to the production from the education system has to be matched with the needs of the economy.
VO: ADB is working with training institutes such as the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education to make sure skills meet the rising demands.
SOT: Hilary Silva
Project Director, SLIATE
In addition to the practicals, they learn how to blend the critical knowledge in practice. As soon as they joing the workforce, they’re able to deliver what organizations expect from them.
VO: Making education more compatible with labor market needs will help today’s youth better able to compete in the increasingly globalized world and promote broad based economic growth in Sri Lanka.