Shifts in the educational structure of Sri Lanka following economic liberalisation.

Abstract

How has globalisation changed the structure of education available to young people? What have been the effects on their educational aspirations, and their ability to achieve those goals? This report explores these questions through an analysis of the changes that have occurred in Sri Lanka’s education system after two decades of economic liberalisation.

One of the most significant changes in Sri Lanka over the past two decades has been a substantial increase in the private provision of education services – both schooling and tuition. Private education services are typically accessible only by affluent and middle class families. At the same time, government investment in public education, especially in rural areas, has been inadequate to meet increased demand and recurrent capital costs. Consequently, the combined effect of these two trends has serious equity implications for young people from rural and poorer backgrounds.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • demand for IT and computer training has increased rapidly over the last two decades
  • the quality of English teaching in schools is generally low
  • economic liberalisation has not affected school enrolment to any significant degree, but children stay longer in school than they did in previous decades
  • increasing enrolments in private schools, but these are affordable only for parents belonging to the middle and upper classes
  • there is a shortage of science and English teachers
  • insufficient expenditure on public education has serious equity implications for young people from poorer backgrounds, especially those in rural areas.

Citation

Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Report Number 3, 49 pp.

Shifts in the educational structure of Sri Lanka following economic liberalisation.

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