I was recently at Softwave Gallery to get some prints and there were like four people sitting around, none of whom could do anything. Some were cleaning staff, so fine, but there was one accounts girl who could do absolutely nothing beyond processing payments. Like, she couldn’t even give us a waiting ticket when we came in. Softwave Gallery sucks, that’s another story, go to Anim8 instead.
Archive for the 'Education' Category
This meme by Nadun Basnayake, via Sri Lankan Memes, isn’t stunning, but it describes the state of Sri Lankan higher education pretty well. The social contract is basically broken. The more educated you are, the higher you’re unemployment. Basically, if you study hard and do what you’re supposed to, you’ll be screwed. It’s crazy pants.
Sri Lanka is the only country I know of where higher education leads to higher unemployment rates. The system is undeniably broke, but it not clear who has the fix. Now the issue has reached a head as University teachers have been striking since July. Now the universities are completely shut down and I’ve been hearing that they’re even kicking the kids out of hostel.
Education in Sri Lanka is both big business and highly opaque. Recently my mother, Sujata Gamage, has done a survey through LIRNEasia to see what exactly is out there. In Sri Lanka there currently isn’t a centralized space (like UCAS in UK) to see what degree/diploma options are out there. So this is a start.
I welcome the new developments in Sri Lanka (roads, ports, airports, buildings, malls). Dev isn’t a zero sum game and that’s part of it. It’s important, however, to invest as heavily (or more) in education and health, which is what sustained the country even through war. Many of the things we’re building are for a middle class that doesn’t exist yet. Without education and health, there won’t be enough people for the shops or cars for the roads.
The Department Of Examinations has fumbled and now completely dropped the ball on A/Level results. First the results were late, then finally released on Christmas, and now they’re saying that the results of some students could be wrong, effectively meaning that none of the results are reliable. Kids study for these exams for years and try to get stuff right, but the Exams Department can’t even add up the scores. I give them a Fail.
Kumar Sangakkara is trying to raise around Rs. 3 million to buy bicycles for kids in the North. You can make a simple donation or donation per run he hits in the Pakistan tour (which I think is over now). He recently became the fastest to reach 9000 test runs so perhaps the simple donation is the best bet.
School time, na na na school time. Horror. One wishes more Sri Lankans would be accepted to Hogwarts. Instead, many Colombo district kids travel great distances to get to school, giving the city a second rush hour we call ‘school time’. Herein I’ve attached graphs showing how far kids live from their school, how long it takes them to get there, and how they travel. The average Sri Lankan kid lives within walking distance of school, but not necessarily a good one.
Sri Lanka is relatively functional today because earlier governments invested in health and education. Both matter because they create functional citizens. Education is especially important because female education is highly correlated with lower birth rates. Compare Sri Lanka to India or Bangladesh and you can see how poverty breeds poverty, and the cost that can have 50 years down the line.
I was looking thru the latest statistics, and Sri Lanka has about 1 million more women than men. Women are the head of 23% of households, meaning there’s a lot of single or working mums. Made this infographic with available data. It’s more of an info layout really, but you get the point. Sri Lanka’s sex ratio is about 0.9, meaning that there are around 897 men for every 1,000 women.