This is one of a series of reports examining shifts in the aspirations of youth for livelihoods, education and qualifications following the policies of economic liberalisation introduced from 1978. It examines shifts over time through comparisons of youth aspirations with the recollected aspirations of the youth’s parents. The study of aspirations is based exclusively on interviews with household members from different class groups. This report is on Madugalle, a Sinhala Buddhist village in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.In Madugalle, livelihood activities are primarily based on vegetable, tobacco and rice cultivation. Key findings identified by the surveys include:
- there is little difference in male and female unemployment rates in the sample population, with 11% female unemployment, compared with 13% unemployment among males
- a much higher proportion of young people achieved their Ordinary Level (O/L) and Advanced Level (A/L) qualifications than in their parents’ generation, with 42% of young people achieving A/L compared with only 4% of their parents
- young women were more likely than young men to aspire to university in each generation
- around 70% of young people did not believe that they could attain their professional aspirations, primarily due to economic reasons
- economic factors were also felt to be a barrier to the attainment of vocational aspirations for around 60% of young people
- only a small proportion of young people expected to work in the agricultural sector that provides much of the local employment
- a significant proportion of young people (71%) expect to work in the government sector.
Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Report Number 7, 87 pp.