Rev. Br. Sunanda Alwis and Chief Guest, Dr. Sunil Navaratne
A major global education and career festival, EDURA 2024 is being held at Maris Stella College premises in Negombo.
The education festival with education, career and a book fair has been organised by the Old Boys Association of Maris Stella College from February 2 to 6, from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm.
Many youngsters especially those who have completed their GCE Advanced Level examination were enlightened on how to continue their higher education in foreign universities, student transfer options and scholarships, while those keen to start careers were provided with career guidance, options for vocational training opportunities, foreign job opportunities and even migration programmes.
A series of informative guest lectures were conducted by some of the old boys themselves on latest trending subjects like Artificial Intelligence.
Renowned lecturer from the University of Moratuwa, Dr. Ranga Rodrigo presented a lecture on the theme, “Unlocking the Future – Your Journey to Artificial Intelligence”, while Mr. Kanishka Weeramundey talked on “Entrepreneurship and Technopreneurship”. Mr. Dinesh Samantha Peirison spoke on Higher Education, with Mr. Nishan Perara speaking on “Industrial Age to Digital Age – Robotics”. Mr. Shehan Malith talked on the Hospitality Industry and Mr. Sudath Fernando on “Titanium Dreams Stronger than Steal – Formula to Achieve Anything You Aspire.”
Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne, the Director-General of the National Institute of Education (NIE) was the chief guest at the opening, on February 2.
Addressing the gathering on the opening day, Rev. Br. Sunanda Alwis, Principal of Maris Stella College Negombo highlighted the importance of the Right to Education, and noted that millions have been denied this right.
“A study conducted by UNESCO in 2017 found that nearly 60 million people could overcome poverty if all adults had just two more years of schooling. If all adults completed secondary education, 420 million could be lifted out of poverty, reducing the total number of poor by more than half globally and by almost two thirds in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia,” Br. Alwis explained.
He said that alarming disparities are seen where the rights to education are being violated for millions, hindering progress for gender equality.
“As we all know, presently, the youth unemployment rate is skyrocketed to 32% with 15-16 year olds falling into a category of 22% of the unemployed. It is evident that the issue of youth unemployment has arisen from factors such as youth inability, a lack of systematic education and professional training, and also economic hardships,” Rev. Br. Alwis reiterated.