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Sunday December 3rd, 2023

Sri Lanka’s school dropouts rising after economic crisis-survey 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is facing an increasing risk of children dropping out from schools due to the ongoing economic crisis with families in estate sector have already stopped their education mid-way due to unaffordability, a recent Red Cross Society survey has showed.

The study done by the International Federation of Red Cross and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society with 2,871 households in 11 districts and 300 estate sector households the findings have shown that 60 percent of the participants showed fears of increase in risks of their children dropping out of schools.

The survey was done to find out the impacts of the the ongoing socioeconomic crisis in Sri Lanka.

“Of the 2,871 households we interviewed, 34 percent households said their children’s education has been affected due to the economic crisis and 60 percent said they see an increase in risk of children
dropping out from school at an early age,” Dr. Sinha Wickremesekara, a member of the research group told reporters on Friday (14).

The education system has been disturbed due to schools were closed since early 2020 due to Covod-19 outbreak amid teachers were unable to complete the syllabus for the children. The virtual classes have failed to achieve desired results due to technology gap in rural areas.

Severe economic crisis since early 2022 along with a fuel shortage, schools were forced to close again on several occasions with both children and teachers being unable to attend the school on a daily basis as the public transportation was affected.

Under the Sri Lankan law, it is compulsory for all children under 16 years of age to get education and all
people under the age of 18 is considered as children.

Wickremesekara said, of the three sectors the survey was conducted, the estate sector has been the
most affected with 7 percent of the 300 households of 10 estates said they have stopped their
children’s education due to unaffordability. (Colombo/Oct15/2022)

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Sri Lanka UGC wants to boost number of IT-related degrees

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s University Grants Commission is of the view to boost the number of Information Technology (IT) related degrees in state universities with an aim to pave the way for a digital economy.

Sri Lanka’shigher education system has been producing more graduates in Arts stream while the degrees in highly demanded IT and other engineering services are being looked at only now.

“We do have a high demand for engineering, science, AI, computer and electronical engineering

studies,” Chairman of University Grants Commission, Sampath Amaratunga, told reporters at aa media briefing on Friday

“However, while avoiding neglecting the humanities, we should develop new IT skills.”

Amaratunga confirmed that a student who studied in any stream could obtain an IT degree, including students who studied in the arts stream.

The UGC data show that out of 18,490 engineering technology stream students who sat for their Advanced Levels (A/L) in 2022, 10634 were eligible for university.

“Even streams like agriculture should be encouraged to use technology,” Amaratunga said. (Colombo/Dec 2/2023)

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Sri Lanka leader inaugurates Climate Justice Forum at COP28 in Dubai

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe launched Climate Justice Forum (CJF) at the ongoing 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in Dubai in a move to gather support for vulnerable nations hit by climate-change led disasters.

This year’s climate summit held in Dubai’s EXPO2020 features a raft of issues for countries working to find common ground in tackling climate change, including whether to phase out fossil fuels and how to finance the energy transition in developing countries.

Wickremesinghe inaugurated the Climate Justice Forum at COP28 on Saturday and emphasized the critical importance of addressing climate issues with a sense of justice and equity.

The President had been in talks with many nations vulnerable to climate change disasters including African and South American countries to get their support for the CJF.

The move is to compel advanced and developed countries to look into the poor nations hit by the climate changes and help them to get over economic and debt burdens by either investing more in green energy initiatives or writing off debts to ease financial pressure.

Sri Lanka, which is now facing an unprecedented economic crisis, has seen increasing losses and damages, both human lives and physical properties due to climate change-led disasters like floods, drought, and earth slips.

In his speech at the COP28 forum, Wickremesinghe on Friday said the Climate Justice Forum will provide a platform for constructive and proactive engagements. (Dubai/Dec 2/2023)

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Sri Lanka IMF review goes to executive board on December 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The first review of Sri Lanka’s International Monetary Fund program is scheduled to go the lender’s Executive Board for consideration on December 12.

Sri Lanka officials were expecting the review to be completed in December as soon as official creditors gave their assurances.

According to the notice Sri Lanka had missed one performance criterion and has requested modifications.

Sri Lanka has outperformed on a number of quantity targets including inflation. In addition to quantity PCs there was also one non-accumulation of arrears.

There would also be re-phasing of access. The review was originally expected around September with another review based on December data, leading to September and March disbursements.

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