The Sri Lankan economy has seen robust annual growth at 6.4 percent over the course of 2003 to 2012. Almost five years after the end of the three-decade civil conflict, Sri Lanka is now focusing on long-term strategic and structural development challenges as it strives to transition to an upper middle income country.
Read More »
Mrs. Gamage, with approximately 20 years of experience in education, described the value of bonding as a school family to deal with modern day challenges facing school children. While the officials, p... Show More +arents and community have supported the school activities from its inception, the training and capacity building initiatives carried out through new school development initiatives have helped her and the school officials to get into a better management culture, said Mrs. Gamage. “We are now better equipped with planning, monitoring and evaluating skills to drive for results in improving children’s learning outcomes,” she said.The school, which has 2,500 students, has just 10 working computers right now. The principal and school development committee are working towards filling the gap. “I have been requesting for an Advanced Level IT teacher for this school and still have not filled the vacancy,” she said explaining the shortage of IT teachers in the country working in public schools.Jayawardena Mahavidyalaya school is the second home to around 300 students and 34 teachers. “It is the only family experience for some students who come to school from orphanages in Galle area,” said P.L. Iresha Upamali a teacher who had recently followed a school-based training program in psychology and counselling. She explained that most children in the school are from low-income family backgrounds. Some parents have completely abandoned their children due to various reasons. These children find refuge in the school and often seek psychological support from teachers. A training for teachers in counselling and psychology was organized through the initiative of the School Development Committee (SDC) to respond to psychological needs of the students.“When I first arrived at this school, I found it to be disorganized. The first awareness program I conducted was in the 5S system of management,” said school principal Dinesh Hettiaarachchie. He is creating a work plan to improve the learning outcomes of students and carry out more School Based Teacher Development programs. The school has successfully created a safe and clean environment for students to learn practical skills.“Someday I wish to be an engineer,” said 14 year-old Mohammed Azmi, a student, explaining his passion to study math and IT.“Children in this school have many dreams, just like others. But whether they will be able to achieve them is doubtful. The main reason is lack of family support due to the low income status of parents,” said Iresha Upamali, stating that her only wish is for these children to become good citizens and not a burden on society one day.The Program for School ImprovementThe objective of the Program for School Improvement (PSI) is to empower schools to carry out relevant management decisions to strengthen school performance and improve student learning. The PSI has a cycle of school planning, implementation, reporting of results, monitoring and evaluation and annual updating of the school work plan. It is implemented by the School Development Committee (SDC) and School Management Committee (SMC) that work in partnership under the leadership of the principal to effectively execute all elements of the PSI cycle. 6,500 schools have completed the PSI cycle from 2012-2014 out of 10,000 public sector schools in Sri Lanka. Show Less -