Sri Lanka : Independent Schools

Figure 1.-- Here we see a school trip at the top of Sigiriya, the Lion's Rock, a natural fort in central Sri Lanka (altitude about 1000 m). We thoughtn it looked to be a class from a private school. The boys are wearing a full white uniform. Notice the school badge on their shirts. A Sri Lanka reader tells us, "The boys in this picture (Figure 1) are from a government school, not from a private school. This is because all of them are wearing national school uniform."

The country achieved its independence within the British Commonwealth (1948). The current name of Sri Lanka was adopted. Sri Lanka's current education has a strong British imprint. Sri Lanka at the time of independence had a substantial education infrastructure. The British left Sri Lanka with the basis of a modern school system. There were, however, some substantial inequities associated with the system, involving religious, geographic, and gender inequalities. Some were the result of British policies others were the result of traditional Sri Lanka society. The Sri Lankan Government with indendence gave considerable emphasis to expanding the education system. The Government by about 1985 had increased the number of schools (50 percent), increased the number of students (300 percent), and the number of teachers increased (400 percent). As Sri Lanka already had many primary schools, the growth has been especially important in secondary education. There were about 1.2 million students (1985). This was about one-third of the country's students. Private schools continue to plsay an important role in the country's education. Teachers were the largest group of state government employees, exxcept for the plantations (mostly tea) now operated by the government. More than 90 percent of the population is now literate and almost all of the younger cohart. Sri Lanka's educational achievements since independence are some of the most impressive in the developing world.


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Created: 1:52 PM 2/27/2007
Last updated: 4:35 AM 4/5/2008