The modern school system of Sri-Lanka has its beginnings during the British colonial disposal. Schools were started by the denominational organic structures for the intent of proselytization. Later the authorities besides established schools for the instruction of the kids. The authorities schools provided direction in the national linguistic communications and there were besides bi-lingual schools ( common school ) where English was besides used. This created a double system of schools, authorities schools and denominational schools. There was besides another sort of dichotomy in that some of the denominational schools imparted English medium instruction bear downing fees from pupils which created an elitist group of schools as against the common schools supplying free instruction. As a consequence of the authorities, denominational organic structures, private organisations and persons set uping schools at that place was no planning in the location of schools.
The grant of free instruction with the execution of Special Committee recommendations under the stewardship of Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara in 1945 and the return over of schools in 1960 reduced some of the unfairnesss that existed in the school system. During the last 50 old ages some grade of rationalisation has been achieved. But still there are broad differences and deficiency of uniformity in the school system.
School Types and Service Delivery
At present Sri- Lanka has a 13 twelvemonth span of schooling. Schools are classified on the footing of the educational phases available in the school and besides taking into consideration the class watercourse offered at senior secondary degree. The schools are classified by type as follows:
Type 111 Schools: – Primary schools holding categories from Grade 1 to Rate 5
Type 11 Schools: – Junior schools holding categories from Grade 1 to Rate 11
1C Schools: – Senior Secondary schools holding categories from Grade 1 to Rate 13
or Rate 6 to 13 with lone Humanistic disciplines and Commerce watercourses at G.C.E. A.L
1AB Schools: – Senior Secondary schools holding categories from Grade 1 to Rate 13
or Rate 6 to Rate 13 with all 4 watercourses at G.C.E.A.L
In finding the construction of the school system, one has to see the economic sciences of educational proviso. With the demographic passage, migration to urban countries and the growing of private schools, the registration of pupils in authorities schools is worsening and the figure of little schools has increased. The following table gives the distribution of authorities schools by size.
Table – Government Schools by Type and Size of Student Population
& lt ; 50
101 – 200
201 – 500
501 – 1000
1501 – 2000
& gt ; 2000
Beginning: School Census 2007
About one tierce of the schools have an registration of less than 100 students on axial rotation while there are 292 schools with over 2000 students. The little schools are disadvantaged in many facets. Dearth of physical and human resources, hapless place background of students, deficiency of community support, unavailability to modern influences such as the media are factors which compromise the rule of equity enshrined in the Constitution.
Equity in instruction starts with just entree to schooling. The Education Sector Development Framework and Programme of the Ministry of Education emphasizes, guaranting equity by enabling all kids to hold entree, to take part in and complete BASIC and secondary instruction. In order to guarantee just entree to primary instruction, the authorities has established a widely scattered web of schools throughout to state.
Number of Government Schools by Functional Grade Span, 2006
Beginning: Annual School Census, Ministry of Education
The policy of the authorities is to supply a primary school within 2 kilometers to every kid of the age scope 5 to 9 old ages and a secondary school within 4 kilometers to every kid of 10 to 16 age scope. Because of this policy a figure of schools with little categories are seen particularly in distant countries.
Number of Government Schools by Size of Student Population, 2006
Number / Percentage of School with
& lt ; 50 Students
& gt ; 2500 Students
Beginning: Annual School Census, Ministry of Education
The definition of a little school at nowadays is based on the exclusive standard of registration of pupils. Harmonizing to this standard a school holding less than 100 pupils is considered to be a little school.
Under the programme “ Rationalization of School Network ” , in 1996, 356 little schools were reported to hold been closed, as they were presumed to be wasteful. The two chief standards for shutting schools were:
Minimal registration ; and
Availability of alternate educational installations within a prescribed distance.
Low pupil registration was a characteristic of around 80 % of the schools that were closed. The research surveies have discovered some major grounds for the diminution in pupil registration in these schools. They are:
The handiness of ‘better ‘ schools in the local environment and the aspirations of parents to direct their kids to these schools, if their household resources permitted it
( a ) the hapless direction of these little schools by Principals and the hapless quality instruction
( B ) the indifference of instruction functionaries, Principals and community leaders towards the public assistance and promotion of the kids in little schools and the attendant impairment of the quality of instruction provided in them
The little schools are found tucked off in distant rural pockets, among the hills in the plantations, in new colony countries along the seashore and in the thick of overcrowded urban homes, sometimes in the shadow of popular schools. These schools add up to about 3000 which is about one tierce of the entire figure of schools providing to primary school kids.
These schools cater chiefly to kids of the poorest of the hapless. They have been neglected and forgotten and the parents of these schools are less demanding and prone to accept their batch. Inadequate resources portray the disregard and deficiency of concern.
The stray nature of the little schools, unequal grasp of any good work done and deficiency of supervisory and consultative aid are issues in developing these schools.
Small schools have to be reviewed in the context of their scenes and entirety of the job. The many-sided nature of the job calls for a many-sided attack.
While acknowledging the demand to go on with little schools where there is a existent demand and presuming that rationalisation may take to the dropout of students, at least in countries where schooling installations are available within a sensible distance, some grade of rationalisation can be accomplished. Education Sector Development Framework and Programme ( MOE, 2006 ) analyses the wastage incurred by little schools. Harmonizing to School Census, there are 258 schools with less than 15 students with a instructor student ratio of 1: 04, 717 schools with less than 25 students with a ratio of 1: 07 and 1525 schools with less than 50 students with a ratio of 1: 11. It has to be noted that when the figure of students is less, the quality of instruction imparted in such schools is besides hapless. In order to run into this state of affairs a strategy of grouping schools in a geographical country as a school household should be explored.
There is besides the issue of National Schools which are managed by the Central Ministry of Education. There are no recognized standards for upgrading a school to a degree of a National School. Of the 329 national schools at present, really few conform to the criterions laid down originally for placing national schools. The standard that would warrant a school to be a National School should be the fact that kids from all over the state are admitted to that school, that it is an all island school. Admission to such schools should entirely be on virtue. There can non be a primary subdivision in a National School as admittances to primary categories are done on the footing of the propinquity of the parent ‘s abode to the school. An extra standard would be the multi-ethnic composing of the school where kids of all communities are admitted and all three media are available which would advance national coherence.
Sing the demand for advancing national integrity in the present context and the function instruction can play in advancing national harmoniousness, much idea should be given for the possibility of forming multiethnic schools in countries where the communities are multiethnic. In such schools all three linguistic communications can be used as media of direction and kids will turn up together as Sri -Lankans, while understanding their heritage and esteeming the civilization of other communities.
Another issue is whether the authorities should hold a monopoly of instruction or in add-on to State proviso of instruction whether private-public partnerships should be encouraged. When the schools were taken over in 1960 merely a few class 1 schools remained as private and non fee-levying schools. There was a class of schools that were fee-levying and private, i.e. those who opted to maintain off from the free instruction strategy in 1951.
Since 1980s, another class of private schools have sprung up and are known as “ International Schools. ” These schools are registered as concern organisations with the Registrar of Companies and conflict the commissariats of the Assisted Schools and Training Colleges ( Supplementary Provisions ) Act No. 8 of 1961 which stipulates that no individual other than the Director of Education can set up a school for kids between the ages of five and 14 old ages. Further, there is a misdemeanor of the Education Amendment Act of 1945 which stipulates that the primary instruction of kids should be provided in the female parent lingua ( Sinhala or Tamil ) . To acquire over these jobs, these schools have been registered as concern organisations with the Registrar of Companies. Earlier these schools prepared kids for foreign scrutinies and direction was provided in the English medium. Now some of these schools are supplying classs based on the local course of study and the pupils sit the local GCE ( O/L ) and ( A/L ) scrutinies as private campaigners.
Some International Schools appear to supply instruction get downing from Early Childhood Care and Development Stage ( ECCD ) up to Advanced Level and Degree degree scrutinies. From the Primary Level the medium of direction is in English.
The demand for popular schools is of all time increasing and the parents with moderate degrees of income, who fail to acknowledge their kids to such schools are compelled to acknowledge their kids to International Schools sing the advantage of larning English every bit good.
One of the chief aims of instruction is to bring forth a Sri Lankan citizen with a common set of values. The NEC has proposed Common National Objectives for General Education. The schools established by private organisations with net income doing aims can non be expected to carry through the common aims proposed by the National Education Commission. Further, the deficiency of encouragement to larn history and national civilizations in the course of study lead to the production of persons who do non value and respect national heritage and civilization.
These schools appear to be popular among certain sections of society as indicated from the rapid growing of the figure of schools. Accurate statistics of this class of schools are non available but approximative figure may be around 300. The chief attractive force to these schools is the instruction in English medium.
However, most of these schools do non hold even the basic installations required for a school. Most categories are housed in residential premises and there is in sufficient infinite for kids in the schoolrooms and equal airing. Other installations for athleticss and excess curricular activities are minimum. Hence, there is a turning demand that these schools be regulated by the authorities.
Another class of schools working with authorities aid are the schools supplying instruction for kids with particular demands. There are 25 Assisted Schools tally for kids with particular demands. The prevailing doctrine of particular instruction is inclusion. As these kids have to be integrated to normal society, MOE has started incorporating pupils with particular demands in normal categories. In order to point these kids to the normal school particular instruction units have been established in about 1000 schools. However, particular schools are necessary for kids with terrible disabilities.
The dichotomy of schools at the clip of independency was reduced by free instruction, displacement to national linguistic communications as the medium of direction and the cardinal school system, but the blazing disparity continues doing the policy of equal instruction chance a farce.
The location of schools, peculiarly the secondary schools is non good distributed as it has been done in an unplanned manner and about all non authorities schools were located in urban countries.
The imbrication of the terminology of the ‘types ‘ of schools and the attendant confusion in execution of policies and programmes.
The marginalisation and the disregard of little schools which are the chief avenues of educational chance to kids of deprived households, to carry through their right to instruction.
The present categorization of schools deficiencies lucidity as a effect of ad-hoc alterations over the old ages, choosing few schools and resourcing them while the hapless schools were farther neglected obliging the pupils rush to urban schools, doing the hapless schools poorer and little schools smaller.
The increasing force per unit area on big popular schools in urban Centres which are undergoing uncontrolled enlargement to run into the demand ensuing in overcrowded categories where acquisition and instruction may non be effectual.
Schools that have started with cultural or spiritual background want to keep the same position and individuality without altering to a multi-ethnic and multi spiritual schools.
International schools which are non legal and run as concern organisations do non conform to the educational jurisprudence and do non carry through the common aims determined by the National Education Commission.
The school should be an establishment that fulfils the right of every kid to quality instruction that aims at developing a common set of values that identifies him/her as a Sri Lankan with dedication to Motherland while esteeming one ‘s ain individuality.
The authorities should set up a construction with two types of schools, viz. , primary schools holding Grades 1 to 5 and secondary schools with Grades 6 to 11 or 6 to 13.
Management, facilitation and rating of all public schools should be the duty of the Provincial Department of Education. Categorization of schools by different names ( National, Navodya etc. , ) should be discontinued.
Education Division should be the unit to form the web of primary and secondary schools. Each secondary school should hold at least 5 primary feeder schools. The figure of schools in a division should be determined by the figure of school traveling age kids in the Division.
In countries where schools are far apart and student Numberss are low, primary schools may carry on categories up to Rate 9 for a fixed period of clip.
In order to guarantee continuity of instruction, a kid who is finishing the primary degree should be assured of a secondary school.
Small Schools, which serve the small town community demands, should be encouraged to go on by supplying them with necessary support to develop as educationally feasible establishments.
All really hard and hard schools should be upgraded with both human and physical resources to supply a quality instruction to make the mark of educating all kids likewise.
Mechanisms should be developed to oversee and supervise little schools in order to guarantee criterions and to take prompt remedial actions when necessary.
Primary subdivision ( Grades 1-5 ) of all bing 1AB and 1C schools should be delinked by 2015 and map as primary schools.
State should do available a primary school within a radius of 2km and a secondary school within a radius of 5km. All primary and secondary schools should supply equal resources to guarantee para and equality of the quality of instruction provided by them.
All unregistered Private schools including International schools should be registered with the Provincial Departments of Education. They should be regulated with norms for appropriate physical environment, necessary makings of instructors, medium of direction and a course of study constituent related to National Heritage and kid ‘s faith issued by the Central Ministry of Education.
All Private and International Schools should be capable to supervising by the Ministry of Education and Provincial Ministries of Education.
All Private and International Schools should run as non-profit organisations and all net incomes obtained should be ploughed back to the development of the school.
All schools should follow a procedure of inclusive instruction for kids with particular instruction demands. However ‘Special Schools ‘ may go on for badly disabled kids who require particular intervention.
Section 25 of the Assisted Schools and Training Colleges Act No. 8 of 1961 should be amended to let the enrollment of private and international schools.
School Calendar and School Hours
The school calendar for the twelvemonth is determined by the MOE and is unvarying for all schools. This is necessary because of the national vacations and the demand to co-occur school vacations with the scrutinies calendar. Suggestions have made that schools should hold holidaies taking into consideration the agriculture forms of the country as older school kids take portion in agricultural activities of the family. The provincial governments may be given the discretion to amend the school calendar to accommodate local demands without upseting the school vacations and public scrutinies.
The figure of school yearss at present is about 200 a twelvemonth. School hours are 5 hours for the primary and 6 hours for the secondary. In the past secondary schools had two Sessionss forenoon and afternoon with a tiffin interruption. This is desirable as pupils can take portion in extra-curricular activities without taking clip from academic Sessionss. However due to jobs in conveyance, supplying a mid twenty-four hours repast and long distance that kids have to go dual Sessionss are non executable.
The minimal figure of school yearss must be 200 yearss a twelvemonth. The states should be given the discretion to make up one’s mind on school footings taking into consideration the local demands.
Classroom instruction clip per twenty-four hours should be 5 hours for the primary and 6 hours for the secondary.
Admission of Children to School
Admission of kids to schools is an issue that has been the topic of argument at national degree. The job is that a certain class of parents resort to all sorts of artifices to acquire their kids admitted to the so called esteemed schools. Harmonizing to the current strategy of admittances propinquity of the abode of the parents play a major portion in the choice procedure and parents resort to deceitful patterns to turn out their abode. Children are trained to express prevarications and references near to these schools fetch really high monetary values in the belongings minutess some of which are fake minutess. Even after such intense competition the bulk of the parents fail to acquire their kids admitted to the school of their pick. As a consequence of influence mongering the figure of kids in the categories has increased to unwieldy Numberss even traveling beyond 50 in certain cases. It is impossible to implement activity based, kid centred course of study in such big categories. It is non desirable to follow any assessment standards at this degree for choice of pupils. In higher categories merit as found through an assessment procedure can be used for choice of pupils.
Committees appointed to look in to this job have come out with assorted recommendations. Some of these are making off with primary subdivisions of esteemed schools or utilizing random choice procedures. However, the really influential yesteryear student anterooms have vitiated all these moves.