අධ්‍යාපන ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ (Educational Reforms)

Educational Reforms (School) for Sri Lanka

 

Abstract

This document aims to introduce drastic reforms in the current school educational system in Sri Lanka, from the Montessori level up to secondary education. The objective of reforms is to make education more relevant to life, more enjoyable, and more cost-effective; and to advance attitudes and skills of person that will make personal life more comfortable and responsible, and that will make Sri Lanka a glorious innovative nation. These proposals are based on the Constitution that has been proposed, but still can be implemented even with the existing system.

 

Proposals for Reforms

       1.       The Levels of education must be classified as follows.

 

Primary

Pre-Primary

Primary

Post-Primary

Secondary

Pre-Secondary

Secondary

Post-Secondary

Tertiary

Pre-Tertiary

Post-Tertiary

Quaternary

Quaternary

 

       2.       The first instance education must be School education, and it must cover both Primary and Secondary education levels in broader sense.

       3.       All the current education in the name or form of Montessori must be terminated.

       4.       Children must be enrolled to schools at the age of four.

       5.       The first year of school education must be Kindergarten (බාලාංශය).

Because schools have to recruit teachers for newly introduced Kindergarten class, Montessori teachers who are already qualified may be recruited and integrated into the school teaching profession after a proper training given to them.

       6.       The current distinction of National School and Provincial School must be abolished. Categorizing or distinguishing schools based on language, race, religion, or any such reason must be abolished.

All Schools in the country must be the same. Therefore, there will no more be “national schools”, “provincial schools”, “model schools”, “navodya schools”, “sinhala schools”, “hindu schools”, “buddhist schools”, “madrasa schools”, etc.

 

       7.       The administration of all schools must be vested in Local Council (Local Government) (based on the new Constitutional reforms).

 

       8.       All schools must be mixed schools with both boys and girls being taught in the same class. Therefore, there will no more “boys’ school” and “girls’ school”.

 

       9.       All schools must be partitioned into two types:


(a) Elementary School (කනිෂ්ට විද්‍යාලය) – from Kindergarten up to grade 6;

(b) High School (මහා විද්‍යාලය) – from grade 7 up to grade 12.

 

For example, a typical elementary school name may be something like “Bandaranayaka Elementary School (බන්ඩාරනායක කනිෂ්ට විද්‍යාලය)” and a typical high school name may be something like “Royal High School (රෝයල් මහා විද්‍යාලය)”. Use of “college”, “maha vidyalaya (in English)”, etc must be stopped.

       10.   The total duration of school education must be 13 years including the Kindergarten period. If a child completes this 13 year school education, he will be 16 years old at the end of the school education.

According to the definition of Child according to the proposed Constitution, a child is a person under 16 years old. This essentially means the school education system serves only children.

 

       11.   The grades in school correspond to levels of education as follows.

 

Pre-Primary

From Kindergarten up to grade 2

Primary

Grades 3 and 4

Post-Primary

Grades 5 and 6

Pre-Secondary

Grades 7 and 8

Secondary

Grades 9 and 10

Post-Secondary

Grades 11 and 12

 

       12.   The two year course at grades 9 and 10 must be General Certificate Examination Ordinary Level (GCE O/L).

The two year course at grades 11 and 12 must be General Certificate Examination Advanced Level (GCE A/L).

 

       13.   There must be no scholarship examination at grade 5. No such examination must be held.

 

       14.   School education (13 year primary and secondary education) shall be compulsory and totally free for each child in Sri Lanka.

 

       15.   No school child must be de-graded, or demoted; and each child must be promoted to next grade each year regardless of his performance in study.

 

       16.   However, each child must be evaluated as described later in this document.

 

       17.   Based on such evaluation of the child, he may be double-promoted in the following manner.

 

(a)    Kindergarten is compulsory for the child, and the child must be thoroughly evaluated during this year. He may be up-graded or double-promoted to grade 2 instead of grade 1 based on such evaluation adhering to strict guidelines of the relevant national authority.

(b)   Grade 2 is compulsory for the child, and the child, based on the evaluation of the child so far, may be double-promoted to grade 4 after completion of grade 2.

(c)    Grade 4 is compulsory for the child, and the child, based on the evaluation so far, may be promoted to grade 6. The grade 6 is compulsory.

(d)   Grade 7 is compulsory again. After the completion of grade 7, he may be double-promoted to grade 9, based on his evaluation. The grade 9 is compulsory.

(e)   No double-promotion thereafter.

(f)     In the compulsory grades above, such promoted child must be taught and trained of curricular activities of dropped grades.

       18.   School education is mostly academic (but not too deep), and is partly related to educate a citizen to form a practical responsible realistic person. The school education curriculum at any level must be enjoyable and valuable to everyday life. A child successfully progressing through this school education will be qualified to be admitted to normal University education.

       19.   In parallel to GCE A/L course, there must be a vocational education course conducted in “Technical College”. Vocational education at such technical college must focus more on advancing skills in some chosen trades like electricals, masonry, carpentry, welding, motor mechanics, agriculture, etc.

The duration of vocational course must be two years inclusive of internship in industry.

 

The purpose of vocational education at this stage is to allow persons who are not interested in traditional academic education or higher studies to contribute to the national economy in the most productive way.

The government must construct new technical colleges in each Locality (“Locality” based on the proposed new constitution).

A child after completing the GCE O/L, may enroll on a vocational course at a technical college instead of GCE A/L in school. Vocational education at a technical college is totally free just as school education.

 

A child who chooses the vocational education path cannot apply to a normal university degree (academic degree). However, they must be given opportunity to go for higher studies in their chosen subject or area, as described in later sections of this document.

       20.   Private tuition for school curriculum must be totally banned.

       21.   Schools must be held in weekdays as usual, and a single school day session must be four hours only.

One period must be one and half hours. Therefore a single school day can accommodate three periods.

 

       22.   The schools must be held in two separate sessions in a day. A student has to join only one session.

One session should start at 7.30 AM and end at 11.30 AM (the Morning Session).

The second session should start at 12.30 PM and end at 4.30 PM (the Evening Session).

 

The school teachers will have to work eight hours + one hour break a day, but they will be still enjoying rest periods during their daily work.

 

If several children in a family attend to school, then the priority must be given to select the same session for all such children of the same family.

 

This reform may seem to add some additional burden on school teacher, but it will be mutually beneficial eventually. With this reform, the government can reduce the number of teachers by at least 20% (not 50% because other reforms require more teachers). Then, to compensate the additional burden on teachers, the government can increase the salary of teachers, and it will not be an additional cost to government due to the reduction of the total number of employed teachers.

On the other, burden on a teacher will be tremendously lessened because the maximum number of students in a class is much less compared to the standards of today’s class.

 

The physical resources (buildings, desks, chairs, labs, computers, etc) in schools can be optimally utilized with this reform.

This will also lessen traffic on roads, and rush in transport.

In an emergency situation (like bombing, commotion, natural disaster, etc), it will be easier to handle less number of students within school or on streets than having to control or handle a huge crowd.

       23.   School Teaching must be established as a profession.

Then, a code of ethics and a code of conduct must be formulated.

Thereafter, to work as a teacher, a person first has to be a member of this professional body after meeting the required educational and other qualifications. This professional body must have disciplinary control over school teachers.

A school teacher must be expected to work professionally. Such professional body may, after a thorough investigation as per the rules of the country and the profession, cancel the membership of a member, and such action will automatically operate to remove such teacher from service too.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) must be made mandatory for school teachers, and promotions and other privileges must be subjected such CPD training.

 

       24.   The number of students in a class and the number of teachers in a class must be as follows.

 

Type

Number of Students

Number of Teachers

Pre-Primary

12

2

Primary

14

2

Post-Primary

14

1

Pre-Secondary

16

1

Secondary

18

1

Post-Secondary

18

1

 

       25.   Students in the secondary levels (from grade 7 to 12) must be supplied with “Writing Pad Chairs” (a chair with an attachment of a desktop for writing on it), instead of a pair of chair and desk.

       26.   All the schools must be built and maintained to a common theme and specification of facilities. Some points of such specification are listed below.

 

(a)    Minimum Width x Length x Height of a class.

Based on research done on this aspect, the following parameters were chosen.

(i) Typical (Asian) Personal Distance (for acquaintance) = r = 2 feet
(ii) Typical personal space (according to πr2 + body span) = 13 + 4 feet2 = 17 ft2
(iii) Teacher’s personal space to be taken as twice as that of a student = 34 ft2
(iv)  Typical height of a class = 10 feet

Therefore, a class room with 12 students plus one teacher must have a floor area of 17 x 12 + 34  = 238 ft2

(b)   All classes must be fully enclosed, but upper half of the wall of the side adjacent to the corridor must be compulsorily glazed (clear polymer glass resistant to shocks and safe) and transparent (no curtains too).

(c)    All classes must be fitted with doors (no open access).

(d)    All classes must have a light illumination (lux value) above the recommended lux value (using artificial LED lighting with high CRI if needed). Natural light must be allowed in as much as possible with glazing upper sides of such walls facing the outside with glass (clear polymer).

(e)   All classes must be air-conditioned (temperature to be kept at around 26 Celsius). At least one extra portable AC must be available in the school in case an AC in a class does not work. Faulty AC must be immediately repaired.

(f)     Each school must have a good library with all the recommended books.

(g)    Each school must have a playground not less than a minimum area determined by a relevant national authority.

(h)   Elementary schools must have two-storey buildings (not more than 2 stories).

(i)      High schools must have three-storey buildings (not more than 3 stories).

(j)     Classes of each grade must be so arranged (situated) that at least one class of one particular grade must be situated in the ground floor.

This ground floor class can have students of differently-abled nature. Therefore such class room must be provided with accessibility facilities for differently-abled students.

(k)    Based on the number of students in school, drinking water facilities (taps) and toilet facilities must be sufficiently provided. Such facilities must be provided for teachers as well. All such facilities must be kept sanitarily clean and in order!

(l)      Each high school must be provided with at least one physics lab, one chemistry lab, one biology lab, one agriculture lab, one ICT lab, one language lab, and one technology lab.

(m) Each school must have one assembly hall whose overall size must be based on the number of students in both morning and evening sessions. Such Assembly hall must have a raised platform at one long end.

(n)   Each school must be provided with at least one music room, one dancing room, and one art room.

(o)   Each school must have one main entrance and one emergency entrance/exit at a different location.

(p)   Each school must have erected a six-foot wall around the perimeter of the school.

(q)   Each school must have an ample parking lot to park foot bicycles of students and teachers.

(r)     Each elementary school must have a swimming pool. High schools may have swimming pools or may build swimming pools later.

(s)    All the structures including the buildings, pavements, sports facilities, staircases, and others must be constructed according to well-considered guidelines to ensure safety, security, and comfort of children.

       27.   There must be one principal and two vice principals to administer any school.

 

       28.   There must be a non-academic staff in a school of at least one AC-technician, one electrician, two janitors (to keep premises and toilets clean and to landscape), two watchers, one office computer operator cum typist, one clerk (with computer skills), one office assistant.

 

       29.   Each high school must have at least the following students’ associations or clubs. In addition, they may form clubs or associations for other interests too. Students must be encouraged to do research and development and to explore. Their co-ordination skills, presentation skills, entrepreneurship, analytical skills, and team-work skill can be improved when engaging in such extra-curricular activities.

 

(a)    Scouting

(b)   Science Club

(c)    Art Association

(d)   Commerce Association

(e)   Music Club

(f)     Innovators Club

(g)    Aviation Club

(h)   Agri Club

(i)      ICT Club

(j)     Astronomy Club

(k)    Tech Club

(l)      Health Club

(m) Eco Friends (ස්වභාමිතුරෝ) (in the interest of environment)

(n)   Bio Friends (ජෛවමිතුරෝ) (in the interests of animals and plants)

(o)   Media and Language Club

Each student must compulsorily join at least two of such associations or clubs at his discretion.

The Ministry of Education must form National level associations of above clubs and associations, and such national level entities must include dedicated staff members drawn from academia and professionals on such subjects.

School level associations or clubs must be considered separate chapters of such national level associations or clubs.

There must be separate rooms (of area of at least 600 ft2) each dedicated for above permanent clubs and associations.

       30.   Every school assembly must be conducted in the school main hall; not in the ground.

       31.   Each school must be given its own web address in the form of www.<name>hs.<2LetterLocalityCode>.sch.lk (for high schools) or www.<name>es.<2LetterLocalityCode>.sch.lk (for elementary school).

For example, Bandaranayaka Highe school in Gampaha Locality will have as its website www.bandaranayakahs.gm.sch.lk

Access to sch.lk domain must be free of charge on any internet connection in Sri Lanka.

Such website must include comprehensive details of the school and school activities (conforming to the Right to Information right too). The Principal must be the Designated officer and a vice principal the Information Officer as per the RTI requirements.

All official notices by the school must be published or communicated through its website.

Students must submit assignments and other such works through this website.

Students and parents in case of primary students must be given proper awareness and training on how to use such facilities.

       32.   Typing skills (in both English and one’s mother tongue) must be improved in all school students and teachers.

 

       33.   ICT literacy including how to use the Internet productively must be improved in all school students and teachers.

 

       34.   The Ministry of Education must establish a dedicated department whose only duty must be to make, review, and upgrade national level school curriculum regularly.

This national level curriculum must be 80% of a school curriculum.


In addition, the same institution must make the rest 20% of curriculum too, but application of which is optional subject to the section
35 below.

 

       35.   Each Local Council (as per the proposed constitution) must make the rest 20% of the curriculum in consultation with experts that will be applicable only to the schools in its Locality. The national institution mentioned in section 34 above must formulate clear specific rules, regulations, recommendations, and guidelines according to which the Local Councils must make such curriculum.

 

       36.   The Principal along with his school academic staff in consultation with outside experts too may make the rest 20% of curriculum (adhering to the national guidelines, rules, recommendations, and regulations) to be applicable to that particular school only. In such case, the curriculum prepared by Local Council will be ignored.

 

       37.   If both the Local Council and the School don’t adopt their own curriculum, then the optional curriculum of the rest 20% prepared by the national institute as per the provisions in section 34 above must be applicable until local or school curriculum is prepared.

 

       38.   80% National 20% Local Curriculum policy must not be applied in the same way in GCE O/L and GCE A/L courses too. In those two cases, only the national level curriculum hold.

 

       39.   The Ministry of Education must create tutorials and other written educational resources on school subjects and make them freely available on the Internet (under a gov.lk website whose access must be free of charge on any Internet connection).

 

       40.   The Ministry of Education must make tutorial and educational videos on school subjects with high quality rich media content and vivid animations and graphics (not just presentations or a teacher giving a lecture kind), and such videos must be hosted on a government video streaming server (like Youtube) whose access must be free of charge.

 

       41.   The Ministry of Education must start four TV channels – one for primary, one for pre-secondary, one for O/L, and one for A/L.

 

       42.   Each secondary student must be given free of charge a tab computer. Such tab must meet (as at the moment) the following minimum specification.

 

(a)    No voice calling capability

(b)   No SMS capability

(c)     4G Data SIM capability

A government sponsored 4G SIM must be supplied and the tab must be locked to such SIM. There must be no monthly rental. Access to all gov.lk, ac.lk, and sch.lk domains must be free. It must have the reload facility and such rates must be on par with the normal rates of the mobile operators.

(d)   WIFI connectivity

 

(e)   Minimalistic Linux based operating system developed by the government specifically for this purpose. Upgrading to other operating systems must be prevented.

 

(f)     At least 128GB of free memory

 

(g)    USB peripheral connectivity (to attach an external device or attach a USB hub to connect several devices at once)

 

(h)   High Quality audio output (but no audio input)

 

(i)      Only allowed apps must be installable.

 

(j)     Color e-ink display (saves a lot of battery)

 

(k)    Minimum display area must be at least 6 inch x 11 inch

 

(l)      Must include the required software and tools including web browser, email client, audio video player, pdf reader, etc.

 

(m) HD rear camera (no video capability, only to capture photos or scan)

 

       43.   All text books of secondary students must be stopped printing. All text books must be given in electronic format.

       44.   The first tab must be given free. Simple repairs (as per the expected depreciation over the time) must be done free of charge too. However, the costs of other repairs and tab replacements must be borne by the student. Still such cost must be kept at very low rate.

       45.   Uniform of male students must be gray long trousers and light blue short-sleeve shirt. Uniform of female students must be gray long trousers or skirt with blue short-sleeve shirt. The shoes must be black. There must be the school badge on the shirt.

       46.   Having intimate or love affair or having sex between a teacher and a student must be criminalized and such teacher must be interdicted and must never be recruited as a teacher again.

       47.   Bullying inside or outside school to students by students must be severely and promptly dealt with by the Principal, teachers, and police in the area. There must be zero tolerance to bullying.

       48.   No money, fee, charge, presents, lottery tickets or anything of such nature must be charged by students or guardians/parents of students.

       49.   Teachers must not accept presents from students. No contribution must be collected by a teacher, a student, a parent, or a past-pupil for such purpose.

       50.   Students should be encouraged to engage in sports, but it’s not mandatory to do so. Each school must have a dedicated female sports coach and a dedicated male sports coach. They must be considered to be part of academic staff.

The Ministry of Education must have a directorate dedicated for sports, with Deputy Directors for each province. They must popularize and advance many sports like football, volleyball, basket ball, tennis, martial art, swimming, sprinting, marathon, cricket, etc.

The sports coaches must closely work with this sports directorate.

There must be a sports festival/meet annually in each school. There must be inter-school (within a Locality), inter-local (within localities of the country), and whole-island sports events among students annually.

National Sports Associations/Institutes must evaluate such students and enroll qualified students for national teams.

       51.   The Ministry of Education must have a dedicated directorate with Deputy Directors for each province to take special care of differently-abled students in the country. They must formulate guidelines and rules for all interested parties to adhere to.

       52.   The Ministry of Education must have a dedicated directorate with a dedicated panel of experts and professionals, with Deputy Directors for each province to supervise and take care of gifted children in the country. They must formulate guidelines and rules for all interested parties to adhere to.

They must establish a national institute with all required facilities (for special teaching) for gifted children to personally look after them, and advance their abilities.

       53.   The admission to school (at Kindergarten) must be streamlined and simple. Because all schools are provided with the same high quality facilities, the concept of “the closest school is the best school” can be enshrined.

The factors to be considered to select a school must be as follows.


(a) the radial distance (with google map) between the edge of the closest edge of the house to the closest edge of the school.

(b) whether a sibling or a step-sibling is already attending to the school.

(c) whether a parent was a past pupil of the school.

(d) whether a parent is a school or university teacher.

(e) whether the child is differently-abled.

(f) duration of the residence.


The algorithm or formula to calculate the final value that determines the admissibility of the child to a particular school must be as follows.


(a) Give 100 marks to the closest school. Then, give 90 marks to the next closest school, and keep deducting 10 marks for each successively less close school.

The duration of the residence matters too. If they live at that residence since the birth of the child, then the above mark will not be affected. However, for each six-month period of non-residency at that residence will deduct 5 marks gradually.

(b) Give 100 marks if the child is severely differently-abled. Then give 80 marks if moderately differently-abled; and 50 marks if lightly differently-abled.

(c) Give 80 marks if a sibling is still attending to that school for not less than two years, and 60 marks if less than two years. Give 40 marks if a sibling has attended that school in the past for not less than three years and 30 marks if less than three years, but now has left the school.

(d) Give 50 marks if a parent has been a past pupil of the school for not less than 3 years and 30 marks if less than 3 years. Give 60 marks if both the parents have been past pupils.

(e) Give 50 marks if a parent is a school or university teacher for not less than 3 years and 30 marks if less than 3 years. If both the parents are such teachers, give 60 marks. If the school teacher is currently working in the same school regardless of his duration of employment, give 60 marks.

(f) Total the above marks against each school in the Locality in which the house of the student is situated. Then the first priority must be the school to which the student has obtained the highest total mark.

(g) The school will get the list of first-priority candidate list and short-list the students from the topmost candidates down. If a tie occurs among several students, select the last student by lots.


Each school must enroll students in this first round. If a particular school has already filled in all its vacancies in the first round, they are good to leave from further consideration. If a school has still vacancies, they will obtain the list of the second-priority students who have not already enrolled at a school. Then do the same procedure. Repeat this process until every student is enrolled at a school.

       54.   Every child must be enrolled at an elementary school within the Locality. The Ministry of Education and Local Council must be prepared in advance to add additional classes to schools based on the total number of children to be enrolled in the Locality prior to send admission cards to such children to apply to a school. Planning ahead is important here.

In such planning, add around 1% more room (vacancies) in the Locality so that students who shift their residence may be admitted mid-term. Such additional vacancies shall not be filled in the normal enroll process as described above. Such vacancies shall remain vacant if mid-term students are not admitted.

       55.   No priority must be given, when admitting children to schools, to children of politicians (including the President) or other public servants, except for teachers as listed above.

       56.   Parents must receive admission cards at the suitable period by the Divisional Secretary (Grama Niladari) automatically when the child comes to the suitable age. If by any chance, such admission has not been received, the parent must obtain it from the Divisional Secretary (GN), and in addition, the parent may lodge an entry for negligence of duty by the Divisional Secretary (GN) to the Local Secretary (AGA).

       57.   The Principal must be the chief administration authority, the chief financial authority, the chief security officer, and the chief disciplinary officer of the school, the academic and non-academic staff, and the students. The Ministry of Education must formulate guidelines and rules that each Principal must abide by.

       58.   Physical beating (including kneeling down), verbal abusing (including use of filthy words), frequent teasing, mocking, or unfair treatment to student must not be allowed. Such behavior of a teacher (including the Principal) may be subjected to disciplinary actions, and may lead even to interdiction of his service.

හැදි නොගා හදන හොද්ද වගේ නොගා හදන ළමයි“ slogan must be highly deprecated.

       59.   School syllabus (curriculum) reforms are highly required. The following reforms are suggested.

 

(a)    The objective of the Kindergarten class must be

to adapt the child gradually in loving and caring way to educational environment;

to instill friendly attitudes to peers;

to gradually eliminate fear of speaking or presenting in public;

to increase coordinating skills;

to make the child self-reliant;

to teach some good routine manners.

(b)   The objective of the pre-primary education must be

to teach the alphabet of one’s mother tongue and to write and read in one’s mother tongue;

to teach English alphabet and to read and write simple English words;

to teach mathematical digits and basic numeracy (counting, etc);

to introduce a list of carefully selected words in both one’s mother tongue and English (a national level relevant educational authority must prepare these lists);

to train basic health habits;

to teach and inculcate basic human qualities like love, kindness, empathy, truthfulness by using different enjoyable methods like drama, role plays, and audio-visual scenes;

to teach and train some simple origami and such creative works;

to engage students in simple games which improve their spatial, analytical, and social skills.

(c)     The objective of the primary education must be

to further develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of what they were taught or exposed to in the pre-primary education classes.

There must be another list of further words of English and one’s mother tongue.

Every child must be trained in swimming at this stage. Every child must be able to swim!

Therefore, every elementary school must have a swimming pool, and swimming coach.

(d)   The objective of the post-primary education must be to

develop more advanced language skills;

to teach arithmetic (addition, subtraction, division in fractional form, multiplication), basic geometry, concept of ratio;

to teach and train ability of understanding and writing simple English sentences (basic SVO sentence pattern, correct use of simple tense, continuous tense, be-sentences in present, past, future times, giving commands, making requests, use of adjectives, basic prepositions and user thereof, use of objects);

to teach and train identification of plants and animals with so much practical engagement (not text-book or lecture-based);

to improve presentation skills;

to advance exploration skills;

to improve reading habit.

There must be another list of further words of English and one’s mother tongue.

ICT literacy must be given.

The student must be thoroughly evaluated to identify his weaknesses and strengths.

(e)   The objective of the pre-secondary education must be

to adapt the child to take up study as subjects of deep substance;

to teach basics and literature of one’s own religion and very basics of other main religions in the country;

to teach higher concepts of mathematics and basics of science with a lot of practical demonstrations;

to teach healthy cooking (with ample amount of practicals);

to train CPR and first aid (with ample amount of practicals);

to teach basics of agriculture with a lot of practicals;

to teach the essential  grammatical rules of one’s mother tongue;

to teach more English grammar (use of adverbs, more advanced prepositions, phrasal verbs, perfect tense, contrast of active and passive voices, simple tense in passive voice, can/could/must/should/may/might/shall/will/would with active voice simple tense sentences).

There must be another list of further words of English and one’s mother tongue.

The student must be encouraged to select subject which are more suitable to him based on his evaluation.

(f)     The objective of the secondary education must be

to improve on the pre-secondary education.

There must be another list of further words of English and one’s mother tongue.

At this stage, the student should have acquired the proficiency of one’s mother language and English.

The student must know to cook any meal in the staple food bucket.

The student must know first aid and it must be like their second nature.

In addition, they must follow the formal GCE O/L course.

(g)    The objective of the post-secondary education is to teach GCE A/L course.

(h)   There must be one subject named “Language” that will teach both one’s mother tongue and English” in pre-secondary and secondary education. The primary concern here must be to teach just enough language rules which don’t make students bored, and to make the student capable of writing any kind of document, be it a private letter, a social letter, a notice, an article, a report, or even a creative work like poems, short stories, songs, novels. The child, after completion of GCE O/L must be able to work in English.

Standard English pronunciation must be recommended. In the last couple of years, there seems to be English teachers advocating a trend to speak in any style or accent, which is not a good movement in fact because we Sri Lankans do not have any difficulty (unlike Chinese or Indians) of pronunciation of English.

(i)      The student must be able to cook healthy meals, and he must know the scientific reasons behind such cooking practices at the completion of O/L education. Not only that, the importance of exercising, walking, riding bicycles, hiking mountains and such labor intensive work must be emphasized and must be inculcated in their mind. The purpose of such education is to prevent non-communicable diseases.

(j)     The student must be able to operate a computer, repair most hardware and software problems, typewrite fast in both English and one’s mother tongue (touch-typing), use the Internet in productive way, and use Office packages, after the completion of O/L education.

(k)    The student must know by both theory and practice about fundamentals of agriculture, and be able to grow and cultivate basic or popular crops.

(l)      The Ordinary Level course must consist of 6 subjects which are:


(i) Language (both English and one’s mother tongue)

(ii) Science (enjoyable and relevant to daily life)

(iii) Mathematics (relevant to daily life)

(iv)Civic Education (fundamental legal theories, basic laws in Sri Lanka, the political system of Sri Lanka, traffic laws in Sri Lanka, Fundamental Rights, fundamental international laws/conventions, overview of the history of Sri Lanka, brief overview of international history)

(v) a Skill subject (one subject out of Music, Arts, Dancing, Accounting & Commerce, Agriculture, ICT, Sinhala as a second language, Tamil as a second language, Chinese as a second language)

(vi) an academic subject (one subject out of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Scientific and Logical Thinking, Literature, Psychology, History)

(m)  The Advanced Level course must consist of 3 subjects under 6 Streams as follows.


(i) Engineering Stream – Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry

(ii) Bio Stream – Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

(iii) Art Stream – any 3 subjects of Western Music, Oriental Music, Dancing, Art Painting, Sculpting, Literature, Theater and Drama

(iv) Language Stream – any 3 subjects of Sinhala Language, Tamil Language, English Language, Chinese Language, Japanese Language, Hindi Language, French Language

(v) Humanities Stream – any 3 subjects of Law, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Geology, Local History, Global History, Buddhist Civilization, Hindu Civilization, Christian Civilization, Islamic Civilization

(vi) Commerce Stream – any 3 subjects of Economics, Business Studies, Accounting, ICT, Statistics, Agri-business

       60.   The two year long vocational education provided by technical colleges must provide following vocational courses.


(a) ICT Stream – General ICT plus 2 more subjects out of Hardware & networking, Computer programming, Computer graphics & animation, Mobile app development

(b) Agriculture Stream – General Agriculture and 2 more subjects out of Post-harvest technology, Food value addition, Tissue culture & plant propagation, Agri-business, Cookery

(c) Technical Stream 1 – 3 subjects out of Electricals, Electronics, Motor mechanics, Welding, AC & Refrigeration, PLC, Residential Wiring & CCTV, PCB level repairing

(d) Technical Stream 2 – 3 subjects out of Carpentry, Masonry, Architecture, Glasswork & pottery, Polymer technology, Fiberglass

       61.   All international schools must follow the same local syllabus and standards of local schools as described in this document. No international syllabi such as London or Cambridge must be allowed.

International schools must be non-profit organizations.

The names of international school will be like, ABC International Elementary School or ABC International High School. The medium of leaning and exams may be English.

       62.    A student who passes at least 3 subjects of GCE O/L syllabus at the GCE O/L examination can apply to a GCE A/L course preferably in the same school or some other school as the case may be.

 

A student may take one more attempt in the next year at failed subjects to be considered for admission to GCE A/L courses. If, after this attempt, he meets the requirement to be enrolled on an A/L course of his choice, he must be included in such class in the coming year.

In addition, he may attempt any number of times in his entire life at his wish.

No island ranks must be proclaimed.

A student must pass with a grade not less than lower credit both the Mathematics and the Science subjects to follow either the Engineering stream or the Bio stream.

A student must pass the Language subject with a grade not less than lower credit to follow either the Language stream or to take up Law subject.

Whether he passes O/L or not, he still can enroll on a vocational course at a technical college. It is mandatory to do either A/L or a vocational course.

       63.   Grades of pass in examinations must be, as usual, A (distinction), B (upper credit), C (lower credit), S (simple), and W (fail).

       64.   One school is not required to have on its staff teachers (permanent basis) on all subjects. All the schools within a Locality must make up one pool of teachers of each (rare) subject (pool basis). Then, such pooled teachers must be scheduled to attend different schools in different days to teach such subjects. This must be well-planned by all schools within a Locality.

This arrangement will enable a student to remain in the same school although a teacher is not permanently available in that school for a particular (rare) subject he has undertaken to study.

It must be the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Local Council to employ enough teachers on all subjects in a Locality either on permanent or pool basis.

Not only must a pool of teachers of (rare) subjects be there, a pool of sports coaches and swimming coaches must be there. Therefore, if a sports coach or a swimming coach in a particular school is absent, a pooled coach must be sent to such school to act on behalf of the absent coach.

In addition, there must be a pool of AC technicians, electricians, and janitors for the same purpose.

Actually the basis of permanence or pool may change from year to year. If a particular year has a full class of students of one subject, a permanent teacher will be staffed in that school until such class concludes. However, if that same school does not have a full class (say, only two students are going to take up that subject) in the next year, then that same permanent teacher will be added to the pool in the Locality.

       65.   The GCE A/L examination must be also considered as the matriculation examination to a University in Sri Lanka. Because International school students also follow the same curriculum, students in international schools also must be considered for university admission.

A student must be given three attempts to be considered to be enrolled on a University course. At each attempt, all the three subjects must be taken.

 

A student may attempt any number of times at the GCE A/L in his life.

There must not be any quota system in university admission. All students must be considered in whole and as par.

       66.   There must not be any other test whatsoever conducted by individual universities or faculties to admit students to university courses.

       67.   The student must be directly enrolled on the course he is entitled after exhaustion of his order of preference. For example, at the moment “Engineering 1” students all study the same syllabus in the first year in university and after the first year-end examination they are enrolled to separate Engineering courses based on the mark he has got in the examination. This has caused a lot of frustration in students because they do not always get the engineering course they desire. Therefore, the student must be directly enrolled on specific courses at the time of enrollment itself (not the first year after).

       68.   Open University and a special Vocational University must admit persons with vocational training/education to let them study for vocational (or even academic) degrees.

       69.   A teacher, a coach, or a non-academic member of a school must not remain in the same school for more than 8 years, but such member must not be transferred out of the Locality unless such member in writing requests a transfer outside the Locality.

       70.   A teacher, a coach, or a non-academic member of a school may effect a transfer on their own discretion on mutual transfer basis if both the transferees are of the same nature (ie, two science teachers, or two electricians, or two swimming coaches), regardless of their locations in the country.

       71.   There must not be any examination except the GCE O/L and GCE A/L examinations in school education.

       72.   There must be continuous assessment and evaluation of students. There must an evaluation of each student at each 3 months. This evaluation must find the following aspects or matters of a student.

 

(a)    Attendance and punctuality during the last three months

(b)   Disciplinary conduct and tidiness during the last three months

(c)    The rate of completion of home assessments during the last three months

(d)   The performance level based on the marks of such assessments (the calculation of the performance must be done according to a preset formula)

(e)   Performance level at an IQ test (taking not more than 15 minutes)

(f)     Performance level at an Emotional test (taking not more than 15 minutes)

The teacher in charge of the class or a substitute teacher in his absence must take attendance and punctuality of students with a tab computer every day.

The teacher in charge of the class in dialog with other teachers of the class takes notes of disciplinary conduct and tidiness, and home assessments of students.

The IQ and Emotional tests must be prepared by the Ministry of Education through experts in such field.

The continuous evaluation must be graphically (by chart) depicted since his first evaluation up to his last evaluation. This way, we can identify the trend of the overall performance of the student.

By such evaluation, the trained professionals in the school can identify personality disorders or other traumas they are going through in life (at home). Such problems must be sorted out by the school as much as possible.

The child must be considered the most important and valuable asset of all.

       73.   During such evaluations, gifted children may be identified. If such child is initially identified, such child must be further tested by the relevant authority under the Ministry of Education. Thereafter, such children must be specially treated and fostered.

       74.   During such evaluations, children with learning difficulties must be identified and such children must be specially treated according to the guidelines and rules formulated by the Ministry of Education (by experts).

       75.   Each student must be assessed weekly by automated (computerized) MCQ type questions. Each student must complete such assessment with their tab.

For primary students without tab, they can do it on paper.

The results of such tests must be shared with relevant authorities in the Local and national levels. Such authorities can measure the performance level and quality of education provided by each school based on such results. The relevant authorities must take necessary remedial actions to improve the standard and quality of teaching in such schools, and even take disciplinary actions against the principal or teachers if such conditions persist due to the poor school administration or teaching.

       76.   Each student must be assessed monthly by complex home assignments that must be manually assessed by teachers.

       77.   The school environment must be safe, pleasing and enjoyable. Education must kindle the curiosity and wonder in students. The student must not be unnecessarily burdened with a mountain of home work or assignments. However, he must be highly encouraged to read resource books and watch educational videos provided by the government free of charge.

       78.   The education must be a good mix of teacher-centric education and student-centric education, as listed below.

 

Type

Teacher-centric percentage

Student-centric percentage

Kindergarten

80%

20%

Pre-primary

70%

30%

Primary

60%

40%

Post-primary

50%

50%

Pre-secondary

40%

60%

Secondary

30%

70%

Post-secondary

20%

80%

 

       79.   There must be one special school dedicated for the differently-abled children who cannot be admitted to a normal school. Special facilities and specially trained teachers must be employed in such school. The main objective of such school is to empower the child to sustain oneself in the daily life, apart from giving them the normal education.

       80.   Students and teachers must be encouraged to come to school by foot cycles or by walking. We must create a “Walking and Riding Culture”. Of course, the road infrastructure and some other things have to be reformed for this to become highly successful.

       81.   The school must maintain an updated database of addresses and telephone contacts of guardians/parents of students. The principal must make sure to monthly request students to provide such details if changed, and update the database accordingly. Any emergency call or a news alert from school can be sent to guardians or parents of students in the school.

       82.   When the teacher takes attendance of students in a class, an SMS must be automatically sent to the guardian or parent. The guardian or parent may inquire about the attendance of his child by calling to the school (computer operator). The computer operator must have real-time access to the attendance database of all students in the school.

       83.   Every student must be medically examined every six months. Eyes, ears, teeth, nutrition level, and other conditions must be checked during such medical examination. To lessen the burden on medical staff, each day a small batch of students can be examined throughout the period of six months.

       84.   There must be educational authorities at national (ministerial), provincial and local levels. They all must be staffed with sufficient personnel, experts, and professionals. They must be provided with necessary facilities too. They all must work together smoothly and productively, in accordance with the political and administrative divisions, to achieve the common goal of producing a very high quality Human Capital for the country.

 

 

 

Submitted by:

 

Sumith Wanni Arachchige

 

+94 (0)70 7500992
+1 (213) 537 8643
+44 20 3468 1935

 

sumith@tekcroach.top

sumithlk@gmail.com

 

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1 comment:

  1. Jagath PathiranaMay 15, 2022 at 3:52 PM

    පාසල්වල බටහිර සංගීත විශයය සිංහල මාධයෙන් ඉගැන්විය යුතුයි.

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