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    Education system changed to achieve science and knowledge based developed country status Featured

    October 31, 2014

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his government was introducing radical changes to the country’s education system to enable it producing scientists and experts who would be on par with modern day scholars of developed countries.

    The President said so addressing the President’s Awards for Scientific Publication ceremony held at the Waters Edge in Battaramulla today. Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka also participated in the ceremony.


    The President said: “Traditionally our education system had been designed to create art graduates. The system favoured art subjects and disciplines. Schools that taught science subjects were rare. For the entire Hambantota District science subjects were taught only at the D.A.Rajapaksa Vidyalaya in Weeraketiya. Mahanama Vidyalaya was the single school offering science subjects in the Moneragala District. School children who had the potential of becoming scientists, engineers and doctors were pushed to learn other subjects as there were no facilities.”


    “With compared to that situation, you are so lucky. You have become scientists and I also know the way upto this achievement is no easy one. Your researches have been published in world renowned peer-reviewed journals. You are a part of the world community of scientists.”


    “We have introduced radical changes with the intention of giving the best to our children and in accordance with the vision of National Research Council which stands for enabling Sri Lanka to achieve science and knowledge based developed country status. We commenced teaching Technology subject in schools and soon it would be made available upto the university levels. We are on our way to achieve the target of establishing one thousand Mahindodaya laboratories. We would commence Faculties of Technology in each and every Divisional Secretariat.”


    “I have visited remotest areas of Trincomalee District such as Padavi Sri Pura yesterday. I have witnessed the enthusiasm and happiness of children when they saw Mahindodaya Technological Laboratories. They are safe and secure and they can have bright hopes of their futures. We have commenced an ambitious programme to lead this country’s education system towards modernity so that it could create scientists and experts who would someday be on par with the scientists of the developed countries. When we commenced this in 2005 the ICT literacy was not even close to 3 percent. Today the ICT literacy has surfaced the 50% mark.


    The programme to ward President’s Awards for Scientific Publication to recognize scientists for reaching high standards in research was started in 2001, and has encourages Sri Lankan scientists to publish their work in reputed international journals. Publication with a Sri Lankan institution affiliation is required for these awards. From 2010 onwards selection for awards has become more stringent and includes both a stricter measure of journal quality and the quantum of research published by a scientist.


    The NRC conducted the ceremony for the seventh time today and more than 300 awardees received awards in the disciplines of Agriculture, Medicine, Dentistry, and Engineering etc. for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013.


    Secretary to the Ministry of Technology and Research Mrs Dhara Wijayatilake, Chairman of the National Research Council Prof H. Janaka de Silva were also present along with other distinguished invitees. (Special Reporter/HC)

     

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