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How Free is Free Education? Private Household Spending on Education in Sri Lanka: 1985-2010

Photo courtesy Rose Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s Free Education Scheme aims to provide each child an equal opportunity at educational success, but there is debate over to what extent it succeeds in this endeavor. Notably, some critics are concerned that private spending on education (for private and international schools, universities, and tuition) may be diluting […]

How Free is Free Education?: Educational Stratification in Sri Lanka: 1985-2010

Image courtesy Rose Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s Free Education Scheme aims to provide each child an equal opportunity at educational success, but there is debate over to what extent it succeeds in this endeavor. Notably, some critics are concerned that private spending on education (for private and international schools, universities, and tuition) may be diluting […]

The future of tertiary education in Sri Lanka

Photo by The Picture Press, featured in 30 Years Ago As I emphasized in my previous article, never in our lifetime will we be presented with ideal alternatives. However, as citizens of Sri Lanka, we have a moral responsibility to vote pragmatically on the 8th of January. To this end, having read Presidential candidate Hon. […]

Social Responsibility in Universities in Unstable Times

Photograph courtesy Vikalpa Guest lecture delivered at the international conference, ‘Revisiting Social Responsibility in Contexts of Crisis: Challenges and Possibilities in Sri Lanka’ at Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, 17 November 2014 Vice Chancellor, the dean and colleagues, let me wish all of you a very good morning. When the Dean, Faculty of Arts […]

In the name of talent

Image from ‘Kolavari Sri lankan tuition song-By Risinu Gamlath’ video, courtesy Sirasa TV For a very long time now I have watched little children performing at children’s reality shows in Sri Lanka, which are marketed as children’s ‘talent shows’ in our country. Little children come on stage wearing costumes and makeup in the manner of […]

Innovating Under Duress: Implications of the Global Innovation Index for Sri Lanka

Science writer Nalaka Gunawardene in conversation with Dr Ajith de Alwis, engineer and public intellectual Sri Lanka was ranked at No 98 among 142 countries worldwide in the Global Innovation Index 2013 (GII 2013) released in July. The ranking in 2012 was 94. GII 2013 looks at 142 economies around the world, using 84 indicators […]

Exploring the ‘Chat Republic': In conversation with Angelo Fernando

Angelo Fernando, in addition to being a long-standing columnist in the Lanka Monthly Digest (LMD) is also the author of a new book, Chat Republic: How Social Media Drives Us To Be Human 1.0 in a Web 2.0 World. We begin our conversation on matters digital and online by looking at how Angelo’s father in […]

Beyond Nostalgia: ‘Children of Olcott’ Must Revisit History

Review of: Mahinde Thamai Iskole (Mahinda is the School!) by Sundara Nihathamani de Mel (Suratha Publishers, Mt Lavinia, Sri Lanka; 220 pages; LKR 600 I have never been able to understand why apparently grown Lankan men instantly turn so nostalgic — and sometimes completely incoherent — at the mere mention of their primary or secondary […]

Strengthening innovation in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Anushka Wijesinha

Anushka Wijesinha is a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka and is one of the most prominent voices in Sri Lanka today championing innovation. We begin by Anushka explaining what innovation means to him in a Sri Lankan context, and why it is so important to support it in post-war […]

Colonizing Childhood and Zionist Pedagogy: Interview With Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Nurit Peled-Elhanan is a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, peace educator and activist and co-laureate along with late Prof. Izzat Gazzawi of the 2001 Sakharov Prize for Human Rights and the Freedom of Speech awarded by the European parliament. Peled-Elhanan has translated Albert Memmi‘s Le Racisme (1982) and Marguerite […]

The State of the Free Education System in Sri Lanka: Confessions of a Disgruntled Student

Image courtesy The Nation I am one of the 243,876 lucky students who sat for the Advanced Level Examinations in 2011. It has been almost one-and-a-half-years since then, and I received my university registration form only yesterday (6 – 4 – 2012). I was privileged enough to receive A/L results four times in the space […]