The Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL) recently launched its threeyear Graduateship Course in Polymer Science and Technology at a simple ceremony at its headquarters in Rajagiriya. The programme designed to conform to a standard equivalent to a bachelor’s degree will give students an in-depth knowledge for a career in the plastics and rubber industry.
Speaking on the occasion Camso Loadstar (Pvt.) Ltd CEO Koenraad Pringiers and the newly elected President of the PRISL said that he looked forward to good participation in the programme which will lead to further development of the course.
The PRISL, which has a history of over 50 years, is the only private sector-driven technical training and educational institute for the polymer industry offering several programmes in both plastics and rubber technology. Since 1995, the institute is recognised by Sri Lanka’s ‘Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission’ as a training body with the capacity and competence to carry out structured study courses to enhance the knowledge and skills of personnel at technological and managerial levels.
The course has been designed to conform to international standards and the institute offers modern facilities for the benefit of students. K.J. Wanasinghe, a past President of the institute and the current Director Education, said, “At the PRISL, we have a well-organised library where the students could access more than 1000 text books on plastics and rubber technology, information technology, engineering, accountancy, management and several other relevant subjects recommended by internat ional education authorities. We also have air-conditioned lecture rooms, an air-conditioned auditorium, a fullyequipped IT laboratory and modern teaching aids.” Wanasinghe also said that if there were any school-leavers joining the course, the PRISL would help them secure industrial placements.
The course will be conducted by a highly qualified and experienced panel of lecturers including those with post-graduate qualifications and long years of teaching experience at the graduate and post-graduate levels. Outlining the structure of the course, Dr. Shantha Walpalage, Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa and Chairman, Education Development Sub-Committee of the PRISL, said, “We focus primarily on the needs of the industry so that the graduates passing out from here would serve for the betterment of the local industry. We have also benchmarked our courses so that they are internationally acceptable.” He said that the course with 180 credits conforms to the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 7, which is equivalent to the Bachelor’s Degree, and is the accepted worldwide standard for students who are working and studying on a part-time basis. Other than students who have followed the relevant diploma courses, those with three passes in the science stream at the GCE (Advanced Level) are also eligible to join the course. DSI Samson Group (Pvt.) Ltd Managing Director Kulatunga Rajapaksa said that technology and knowledge were necessary in the current context and called on all industrialists to upgrade their laboratory facilities. He said that there was a serious dearth of graduate-level rubber technologists. “The Graduateship Programme is a prelude to the development of our industry. We should not allow other rubber product manufacturing countries to overtake us because the tests being asked for by our buyers are not available in Sri Lanka.” He went on to say that for some of the critical tests to be done they had to go out of the country and seek the support of laboratories overseas at a heavy cost. Accreditation was also necessary he said, as some of the buyers required critical test certifications for most of their products. He hailed the launch of the Graduateship Programme as a great step taken by the PRISL.