ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers are discussing a voucher system for school uniforms from 2024, while uniforms for the academic year of 2023 will be distributed as usual along with the uniforms donated by the Chinese government, an official said.
Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane said China has agreed to a government request from Sri Lanka to provide a percentage of the school uniforms needed for the year 2023.
The cabinet has approved a proposal by Minister of Education Susil Premajayanatha to source the rest of the uniforms from local suppliers, Gunawardane told reporters at the weekly cabinet press briefing on Tuesday August 23.
A majority of minsters present at Monday’s cabinet meeting had spoken in support of a voucher system to avoid issues faced in collecting, packaging and distributing uniforms throughout the school system in the country.
The voucher system was introduced in 2015 by the Yahapalana government and vouchers were provided for both school uniforms and school shoes. However, it came to an end with the change of government in 2019.
“Given the difficulties faced when collecting, packing and distributing these uniforms, at least from next year onwards, we’re looking to issue a voucher with enough value to purchase materials,” he said.
“That is not for 2023 but for 2024, and a committee will look into that to see what works best for all parties,” he added. (Colombo/Aug23/2022)