Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s promises on education reform are unrealistic and impractical, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Prof Ashu Marasinghe said.
Addressing the media at party headquarters at Sirikotha this afternoon (23), Prof Marasinghe said Rajapaksa’s promise to provide state university education to all eligible students cannot be realistically implemented.
“I heard Gotabaya Rajapaksa claiming recently that all students eligible for state university entrance will receive university admission under his government. It is an amusing thing to say considering that in 10 years of Rajapaksa, not a single new university was built. Nor did the number of students enrolled to existing universities increase,” he said.
“At least 150,000 students are eligible to enter the state universities every year. How are they going to provide adequate facilities for all of them? At present, facilities are only adequate for 30,000 students. What is their plan to accommodate 150,000? People should not be misled by such lies,” he added.
The MP, who has served in a number of education committees, further said that the UNP-led New Democratic Front (NDF)’s education policies are more practical.
“We have an education policy that will give priority to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education. We intend to encourage students to pursue those subjects. At present only 38 per cent of students follow STEM, and we have a plan to increase it to 60 per cent by 2030. To implement that, we have made thirteen years of education compulsory. We will also build technical colleges in all provinces,” said Prof Marasinghe.