PM calls on private sector to get involved in education reform

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday (14 September) called on the private sector to set up educational institutions to cater to the emerging needs of the economy, while insisting that the Government would provide funding for students.

Addressing the closing session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit, organised by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce last Friday, the Premier said emerging sectors in Information Technology required new skills and institutions needed to rapidly respond to these requirements.

“We (Government) can fund the students to come. We can give them grants, we can give them soft loans. But in my view the institutions must not be governmental,” Wickremesinghe added.

The Premier also pointed out that there were new factories to be set up in new industrial zones that were being built, where the required skills would only later be known.

“Even before we encourage the enterprises we have to think how we can get the training institutes going,” he stated.

Noting that schools were only good for providing a general education for 13 years, Wickremesinghe said private institutions were needed to build the skills and talent required by the industry.

“The private sector must think how they can get involved in the training sector,” he said.

However, the Prime Minister said that brick and motor institutions might not necessarily work and it was necessary for the private sector to think afresh.

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