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Sri Lanka must keep pace with global changes: Prez

16 February 2021 09:07 pm - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reiterated that Sri Lanka must keep pace with transformative changes taking place globally.

“We cannot afford to lag behind. Our higher education system must adapt swiftly. It has to offer our students an education that will remain relevant despite fast changing circumstances and help them find gainful employment in future. Unfortunately, this is an area in which our universities and other higher education institutions need considerable improvement” the President said.

The President made these remarks presiding over the final session of the 31st General Convocation of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University held at the BMICH, today.

The President further stated that the University’s expansion was a great success due to its ability to produce outstanding graduates in fields as diverse as Medicine, Engineering and Law. The private sector should have more opportunities to work with public universities and other institutions of higher education in finding solutions to current problems. ‘At minimum, all graduates from our university system need to have some knowledge about new technologies and at least a functional familiarity with computers if they are to have a chance to build successful futures for themselves’ the President said. 

The President urged the Vice Chancellors of all universities to introduce information technology and computer science to all students, regardless of the field of study.

‘Irrespective of their chosen field of study, all students selected for university education are intelligent. Any lack of exposure they have to these subjects when they enter university is due to a failure in the education system rather than due to their own weaknesses’ the President said.

‘Enhancing focus on research and development will also have a beneficial impact on the rankings of Sri Lankan universities internationally. Improving these rankings is important if we are to attract more foreign students as well as attract and retain talented faculty members at our universities’, the President added.

The governing body, Vice Chancellor, Faculties and staff of each university should have more freedom to determine, design, manage, and deliver their programmes of study. They should also be able to select the students they feel are best suited to learn at their institutions. Talented students, too, should have more freedom to choose their universities. These changes will increase the competition that exists amongst the universities at every level, leading to significant overall improvements across the entire higher education system. Through this, it is also likely that the rankings of our national universities will improve, President Rajapaksa further said.

Degrees were awarded to 1379 graduates covering the fields of Defence Studies, Management, Business Management, Law, Medicine, Engineering, Promotional Management, Industrial Science and Sociology. Among them were five doctoral students, 263 postgraduate and postgraduate diploma holders. The number of First Degree holders was 1111.

President Rajapaksa presented special awards to Second Lieutenant R.M.T.E.P. Rathnayake as the Best Army Officer , Lieutenant V.S. Palihawadana as the Best Naval Officer, Flying Officer R.G.S.D. Gamage as the Best Air Force Officer and Second Lieutenant R.M.T.G.P. Ratnayake as the Superior Officer.

  Comments - 14

  • Borat Tuesday, 16 February 2021 10:09 PM

    Simple things affecting people in their daily lives are not attended to but talking of things much bigger . When will he lift his head buried in the ground

    We Can’t Continue to think like third world Tuesday, 16 February 2021 10:27 PM

    President, you are talking like what every Sri Lankan leader had talked before in the last 72 years the “ importance of doctors and engineers”. This is the thinking that would keep us dependent on the West for ever. Doctors only prescribe medicines and engineers only do maintenance jobs. What Sri Lanka need is SCIENTISTS and MATHEMATICIANS. We need people to research about diseases, We need people to create new materials from exploring Chemistry, We need Physicists to research about new energy sources and on prevention and detection of natural disasters, We need Mathematicians to predict the paths the viruses take and also to build mathematical models for major aspects of the country from economics to defence.

    Nadeesha Tuesday, 16 February 2021 10:32 PM

    At the same time Sri Lankan politicians should keep pace with the advancing world by shunning backward communal politics.

    CJay Tuesday, 16 February 2021 10:54 PM

    Despite all these talks, none walk the talk. Sri Lanka public schools must focus on improving English language use among the students. This has to emphasise on spoken English by employing qualified teachers to encourage students to learn to speak English, not just read and write. I have seen many a students who have to go through this struggle when they enter the job market and this puts us behind the global advancements. If there is one thing to change this, then it would be to equip children with English as a second language to keep up with global changes. This is what our education system lacked for the past three decades.

    Jeeves Tuesday, 16 February 2021 11:20 PM

    First, our culture of ragging should be eradicated. No place for this bullying in any institution. Intelligent minds should be put to better use!

    Jude Wednesday, 17 February 2021 07:17 AM

    We want ACTION, ACTION, and ACTIONS !! Yeah!!

    Samson de silva Wednesday, 17 February 2021 08:58 AM

    He says "We cannot afford to lag behind." He should have added, "That's why we have invited China and India to take over the country."

    janaka Wednesday, 17 February 2021 11:16 AM

    Teach Chinese Language and Hindi from Grade 1 for future generation.

    G abe Wednesday, 17 February 2021 01:42 PM

    Corruption is what makes us lag behind other countries, how bout fixing the politicians

    Murshid Idroos Wednesday, 17 February 2021 02:20 PM

    Walk the walk if u r a man only big talk puss failed puss cake

    Umar Perera Wednesday, 17 February 2021 05:28 PM

    We are at the bottom re' environmental science and conservation. All developed countries have already implemented 'green' strategies because it's necessary. You are destroying forests and reserves and wetlands.

    brainmaster Wednesday, 17 February 2021 06:42 PM

    C.Jay, you are correct. Amongcthe most 8mportend improvements should be the teaching of proper English. English is an absolut must to step foreward

    Silva Wednesday, 17 February 2021 07:21 PM

    much truth in some comments. English is a must and it should be perfect not half baked. The english of so many teachers is substandard. If teachers are paid 15000 a month, what you can expect. Also producing more engineers and doctors won't solve the problem. As soon as they have a possibility they migrate because of the ten fold salaries which they get in other countries. We need scientists, developing the ancient medicines and make research on immune boosters. Develop new building materials like hemp which is perfect, find new ways for green energy. Many efforts are blocked by stupid regulations and old fashion thinking.

    dickie bird Wednesday, 17 February 2021 10:05 PM

    Mr. President... first keep space with Ecocide pandemic...... The Walankanda-Sooriyakanda elephant corridor is being destroyed. Where are you looking or R U blinkered? Environment first.

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