Wednesday July 17, 2019

Call for Sri Lanka education reforms after suicide bombings

Apr 26, 2019 09:54 AM GMT+0530 | 2 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has called for radical education reforms as part of wide-ranging measures to break the cycle of violence the island suffers, the latest being Sunday’s multiple suicide bombings that killed 253 people.

“Our nation faces the challenge of how to break the cycles of violence that our nation plunges into every few years since Independence,” he told parliament Wednesday.

“No child is born, bearing the objective or ambition of becoming a killer in his or her mind. Therefore, if a child becomes a killer, society cannot claim it has nothing to do with the evolution of an innocent child into a mass murderer.”

More than 500 people were injured in the attacks by Islamist extremists on three churches and three luxury hotels.

Samaraweera said that in the globalized world we live in, the influences that one is exposed to are many.

“We must take great care to bring to the notice of law enforcement authorities, details of those who may be brainwashed into causing harm. We must learn from other countries that have been dealing with similar situations, regarding best practice, including rehabilitation and counseling,and capacity building among communities for psychological support.

“It is also critical that we look at this in a wider context including education reform. Content of education from pre-school onwards as well as the structure of our schools are worth being revisited.

Although he is no expert, Samaraweera said he cannot help but wonder whether segregated schools in the country may be causing incomprehensible harm.

“Moreover, the exam-oriented focus of curricula needs to be reconsidered at the earliest possible. Each of our religions has such valuable life lessons to teach us. Lessons that help us cope with the stresses and strains of life.”

Samaraweera said the way religion is taught in an exam-oriented and compartmentalized way and the lack of emphasis on universal values make it impossible for children to gain real and meaningful benefit for their personal growth, or to understand or respect other religions, practices, beliefs or diversity, and overcome fear.
(COLOMBO, April 26, 2019-SB)



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  1. Lalith April 26, 12:19 PM

    Prohibiting all religion priests from politics and media is also necessary

  2. Dilan April 26, 11:20 AM

    a.International schools - International School are mushrooming over most urban areas (and they usually are focused on one ethnic / religious category, leading to varying levels of subject area coverage as well as multiple issues due to minimum standards not being met, as well as lack of common curriculum. This can also lead to future ethnic tension as these students are brought up without the experience of an inclusive environment of other religious and ethnic children. i. Suggest to introduce an annual fee of LKR1.0mn for each international school and funds to be collected from this levy be used to set up a monitoring unit at the department of education where such officers be sent to evaluate the curriculum and progress of these International students in registered schools, in order to maintain minimum national standard and common curriculum.

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