It is high time to transform our educational system to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and the ministry is stepping on several developments in the education sector, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said.
Addressing a media event, 'Sri Lanka Skills Expo 2023' which is to take place at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Conference Hall (BMICH) on May 12, 13 and 14, the minister said the country is in the fourth industrial revolution.
Very soon, we will be stepping into the fifth industrial revolution. But the issue is whether we are ready to take on the challenges even in the fourth industrial revolution, the minister said.
“We missed the first industrial revolution; we missed the second and third too.” Now we are going to miss the fourth industrial revolution. That is why our younger generation blames the past, including political leaders for not transforming our education. We have to start the change of the system through education,” he said.
“For the last 75 years, we have practiced the same educational pattern in our country with slight adjustments. 1961 as an act introduced in parliament to take over private schools to the public sector. As a result, today we have 10,145 public schools in the country. There are state-assisted and fully private schools. At the moment, we have over 300 international schools,” the minister said.
The Education Ministry does not have any control over the international schools. But very soon, the ministry is going to introduce a regulator. This is the structure of the country, he said.
When independent education built up in 1946, the skills were one of the pillers. Unfortunately, for the last 75 years, we have not given due consideration to the skills sector.
The policy of digitalization of education is also in the pipeline, and by May, the Education Ministry is going to start advanced progammes for information technology (IT). The goal of the ministry is to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) in sixth grade, and within three years, the students can complete the programme.
So we are working very closely with the Microsoft Corporation, the Computer Association, and other IT-related companies in the private sector. For that, we need the support of the teachers trade unions and the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA), the Minister added. (Chaturanga Pradeep Samarawickrama)
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