Post-Secondary education was divided into three ministries in order to create a “crash course” to develop the tertiary education sector, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
“Training in skills—in vocations and professions—is a major responsibility. This is why we have created three ministries. Three ministers in charge of a crash programme,” he said at the CIMA 50th anniversary celebrations.
He said that Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is getting ready to implement a German-style apprenticeship programme in Sri Lanka.
“The minister has looked at vocational and apprenticeship training and already spoken to the relevant German minister in getting the dual training system, which is good for the country,” he said.
In the German system, while the workforce operates machinery at factories, they spend one or two days a week being educated at vocational institutes, providing them theoretical and practical knowledge concurrently. The programme lasts for 2-3 years.
“The second minister is in charge of the colleges and institutes of technology to start the equivalent of community colleges or, as the Canadians call it the colleges of applied crafts and technology, which should train the middle-level people and maybe introduce an associate degree,” the Premier said.
This was in reference to the duties Technology, Technical Education and Employment Minister Susil Premajayantha would be undertaking.
The past regime had started construction of over 24 vocational and professional institutes, information on which had been scarce.
Wickremesinghe added that the university system would be expanded to cater to the top end jobs under University Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella.
“And finally a minister of university will look at the reforms and expansion of the university sector,” he said.