ECONOMYNEXT – A Parliamentary Committee is calling for urgent action to reform the Arts stream in the country’s universities as more than half of the graduates are unemployed, a statement from Parliament said.
At a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) members pointed out that the unemployment rate of Art’s graduates should be looked at and “appropriate remedial action should be taken.”
COPA was discussing an audit report on the Propensity to tend Education under the Arts Stream and the Unemployment of Arts Graduates.
The COPA Chair Prof Tissa Vitarana directed the Ministry of Education and the relevant authorities to submit a report to the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) governing the new National Policy on Education to be drafted by May.
The Chairman added that the National Education Commission should seek the support of the relevant Ministry and all parties when formulating this policy.
University Vice Chancellors attending the meeting emphasized that special attention should be paid to the elimination of harassment and ragging within the university system in the formulation of the new National Policy on Education.
Given that the general education system is an integral part of the national development process affecting the lives of all Sri Lankans, the Committee recommended yesterday that the National Policies on School Education should be revised, amended and implemented expeditiously especially at a time as such where acceleration of the economic development is expected.
The Committee also emphasized the need to provide human and physical facilities as required in all parts of the country to promote the teaching of technology. Students should be provided with alternative routes and streams of choice to choose from while they are still in secondary school.
The Committee also brought to the attention of the educational authorities the importance of further strengthening the teaching of English in order to facilitate the development of communication skills in schools and universities.
The Committee also informed the officials that in order to make the best use of the human and physical resources available in the universities, the traditional methods of pursuing degree courses should be changed and higher education opportunities provided by those institutions should be increased to enable more students to enter universities.
Whilst utilizing the distance education system as well as the higher education opportunities provided online the members said.
The Committee also pointed out that the University Grants Commission should consider the possibility of establishing an authority to coordinate and regulate public and private institutions in order to design degree courses offered by universities to suit the needs of the job market.
The Chairman of the Committee said that it was of paramount importance for the Government to establish a system to assess the total manpower requirement of the government, semi-government and private sectors.
Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekara, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Dr Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Prasanna Ranaweera, Members of Parliament Tissa Attanayake, Ashok Abeysinghe, Mohamad Muzammil, Niroshan Perera, Dr Upul Galappaththi, Ranjith Bandara, Dr Harini Amarasuriya, Shritharan, B. Y. G. Rathnasekara were present at the COPA Committee chaired by Prof Vitarana. (Colombo, March 25, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana