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Maintaining Education and Learning: The Sri Lanka Experience

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Dr Namali Sirisoma is guest speaker for a CILT international webinar on 'The importance of human capital in Covid-19 Recovery’

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Maintaining Education and Learning: The Sri Lanka Experience

  1. 1. Maintaining Education and Learning: The Sri Lanka Experience Dr. Namali Sirisoma Dean, Faculty of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University Sri Lanka Vice Chairperson (Education) – CILT SL
  2. 2. Education System in Sri Lanka • School Education • Primary School year 1 to Year 5 • Secondary School Year 6 to Year 13 • University /tertiary
  3. 3. Main Examinations in School System • Year 5 Scholarship Examination – August (postponed to October) • Year 11 General Certificate of Education (G.C.E) Ordinary Level – December (No decision yet) • Year 13 General Certificate of Education (G.C.E) Advanced Level (University Entrance is decided by the results of this examination) – August (postponed to October)
  4. 4. Universities in Sri Lanka • 15 State Universities under Ministry of Higher Education • regulated under the University Grants Commission Sri Lanka • All the courses are offered free of charge • Other Government Universities under other ministries • Paid courses are being offered • Private Universities • Paid courses are being offered
  5. 5. • First Covid 19 warning was given somewhere in February 2020 and all the schools and Universities were closed around 15th March 2020 due to finding few infected cases among foreign tourists • Country was completely lockdown and curfew was imposed
  6. 6. Education during Lockdown period • Teachers and Lecturers were requested to conduct on-line lectures during the lockdown period • This was a sudden decision • In Sri Lanka we do not have online teaching practice before on state universities • Some students who are in rural areas do not have internet • Some students do not have laptops • Some lecturers are not familiar with online teaching • Students could not upload the internet facilities due to curfew • Many technical issues
  7. 7. Data is expensive in Sri Lanka
  8. 8. Government intervention on Internet Data
  9. 9. New School Data Packages
  10. 10. The Committee for Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) decisions on the meeting held on 2nd May 2020 • Decided to Commence the Universities partially on 15th May 2020 • Only students of two academic years can be called to the university premises at a given time – ideally third and fourth year students. • At university hostels, one room must be reserved for one student. This is compulsory, and a one-metre distance must be maintained between students at exams, practical sessions, laboratories and libraries. • All academic activities and exams must end on time, prioritising the students of faculties whose exams are due.
  11. 11. • All academic activities preceding exams must be completed in as short a time as possible. Under no circumstances must they exceed four weeks. • Clinical trials can begin for final year MBBS students. For this, the relevant medical faculties must seek the advice of directors of relevant teaching hospitals, microbiologists, specialist doctors, and PHIs. • No permission is granted to convene for sports and other extracurricular activities. No social gatherings will be allowed in this period. • The health ministry circular pertaining to universities must be followed • All VCs have the authority to determine how many academic and nonacademic staff may be present at a given time, depending on requirements.
  12. 12. • Other semester lectures should be done through Zoom, Teams or any software • If necessary small group classes can be arranged under strict guidelines and regulations of Ministry of health • Student must ware a mask during the exams or studies • Temperature is checked when they enter the university/school • Need to wash the hands at the gate or use a sanitizer
  13. 13. Challenges …………… •Change from Close Communication to distance learning
  14. 14. •Save students from Covid 19 infection •Get students prepared for examinations •Try to complete the academic programmes as scheduled in the calendar
  15. 15. •Do more Covid 19 related research during the lockdown period •Be ready for unforeseen situations •Government policies and new regulations in education •Parents have to play the role of teacher which they are not good at •Students can misuse the technology
  16. 16. Recommendations for the future • This situation will not be over within next couple of years • Need to continue the online teaching • Develop technologies so that many students can access it at a lower cost • Teacher training programmes and teaching methodologies on ‘online’ teaching • Train the examiners on ‘open book examinations’ • New policies in education • New research of local products and new teaching methods • Introduce Simulations instead of practical classes • Share the knowledge internationally
  17. 17. Thank you ….