Several innovative reforms are being supported, including the establishment of a system for conducting national assessments of learning outcomes, school-based management, and school-based teacher development. The project has improved student completion rates, introduced more localized management, and trained 140,000 teachers in development programs.
Despite the past progress in the general education system of Sri Lanka, the country faces the challenge of skills and competencies required to realize its true potential of becoming a modern knowledge-based Middle Income Country in lasting peace. At the start of the project in 2011, 52 percent of children were failing to master their first language, 47 percent in mathematics and 81 percent English language ability. Moreover there are marked disparities in performance by province, location, school type, gender and medium of instruction. Out of the 2,650 school offering GCE Advance Level course (ages 16-18) only 27 percent of schools offer mathematics and science subjects and only 8 percent of secondary schools are of adequate standard in subjects such as science, mathematics and Information Technology needed for knowledge based economy. Further, the ability of the education system to deliver a high quality education experience for school children is tightly constrained by the relatively low level of public investment in education. Another challenge the education system has taken is to meet broad social goals including the promotion of civic values and good citizenship among students. This includes inculcating values, attitudes and behavior needed for a modern political democracy. This is with the aim of fostering a favorable environment for a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society.