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Sri Lanka school education to be reformed to meet international standards

October 13, 2022

Original Article:

A long-awaited revolutionary approach to the national education system is now to be launched next year by introducing the world renowned STEAM education framework with a sturdy focus on subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics to teach students how to think critically, solve problems and use creativity, in their mindset that prepares them to work in career areas that are predicted to experience significant growth.

Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha revealed this new education strategy in the presence of Secretary to Ministry of Education Nihal Ranasinghe when he attended the Mishrawarna Olympiad Champions’ Awards Ceremony at the Colombo University during the weekend. He was the Chief Guest. It is an annual event organized by Sri Lanka Olympiad Mathematics Foundation since 2004.

The minister said it was the first time that such an initiative had been taken to introduce a global education model in to the curriculum in Sri Lanka and grounding in STEAM subjects offered a broader array of career choices for developing personalities. “Earlier, we have been reforming the education system on and off, but the real need is the transformation to global trends in par with international standards. We have been following the same old system for many years, but the new initiative will help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 through a quality education. He said Finland ranks world’s No.1 in Quality Education and the reason is that teachers are accountable for each student and we too have to follow it by providing vigorous training to teachers here as in Singapore.

Minister Premajayantha also pointed out that STEAM education promotes the integration between subjects that aims at favoring deep and collaborative learning on students, through curricular integration in scientific education. He invited and sought the assistance and cooperation from all concerned and involved individuals and institutions in education to support this mission towards making the new approach a success.

Minister also said that Mathematics is a compulsory subject in school curriculum world-over and is an essential discipline in human progress and the foundation for innovation and creativity in human thinking. He concluded commending the mission conducted by Sri Lanka Olympiad Mathematics Foundation (SLOMF) and particularly it’s Founder / Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Chanakya Wijeratne and assured the fullest cooperation of the Education Ministry to support the annual Olympiad Championship Awards Ceremony from next year.

“Mathematics Achievement’ is essentially an important indicator in the economic development of a country “said Nihal Ranasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Education. He further said that International Mathematic Competition (IMO) is the most prestigious and important mathematical competition for high school students and since early nineties Sri Lankan students have toured overseas to take part this competition. He further said that SLOMF has been providing a tremendous platform to support mathematics among the school children in Sri Lanka and commended the efforts taken by the foundation to enhance the quality of mathematics. He said the contribution is greatly appreciated.

Quoting that “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a Fire” Dr. Chanakya Wijeratne said conducting the Sri Lanka Mathematics Competition (SLMC) Island wide since 2004, has attempted to light fires in thousands of local school children’s minds posing interesting and challenging efforts for the zone of proximal development in improving critical thinking, mathematical thinking and creativity for problem solving.

Further speaking at the occasion Dr. Wijeratne said “At school you mostly do exercises which are routine tasks and easy to do. But solving problems require patience. Often solutions are not found in an instant. Sometimes you struggle and fail. Failures are the pillars of success. Every failure, every mistake is an opportunity to grow if you have a growth mind set. With a growth mind set you can aim high. You can aim for the moon or Dream big. You could be the next Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg or Andrew Wiles. Don’t be afraid of failing. Even if you miss the moon, you will land among the stars”.

He said the Sri Lankan national team that attended the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Norway this year did remarkably well and they brought honors’ to the nation. He told that students who take part in the IMO have easy opportunity to get admission into top ranking universities in the world.It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all this Olympiad Champions’ Awards Ceremony 2022. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to say a few words to the

Dayan Kiriwaththuduwa, National Coordinator & Chief Technical Officer of SLMOF, felicitated Dr. Chanakya Wijeratne for the immense service rendered in the school & university education sector through mathematics Olympiad and stated in his citation that “Self-visualization is the defining of self-future, based on present knowledge of goals, hopes, and dreams. Dr. Chanakya Wijeratne is teaching this point and is a desirable model himself”.

Glenfrey De Mel, Chief Operating Officer (COO) speaking at the occasion invited and encouraged all school children in the country to participate in the Sri Lanka Mathematics Competition which is not purely based on the mathematics subject but it is a mind improvement game worth attended by any student. He said the online registration is open by next month (October) for the examination to be held in January 2023 and the Sri Lankan team for International Mathematical Olympiad will be selected among the winners of the national competition.

Dr. Dayal Dharmasena, Director Training, Samantha Ariyaratna, Director Operations SLMOF, and Jagath Chandana Perera, Advisory Partner KPMG were attended the occasion for presentation of awards.There were around 250 award winners from a variety of schools all over the country, with Gold, Silver, Bronze Medalists and Certificate winners.


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