The great social experiment thrust upon us by the virus clearly gave many a lesson too. Those should be factored into a national road map for effective education with the future in mind. The situation in education begs for innovation. It is a system with long lag times and that too requires critical thinking, monitoring, and execution
Education is a great differentiator and an equally capable of being a great social equaliser. How can one differentiate as well as equalise?! Carry out the process well, the results are interesting assets to any economy.
An economy that uses and values education certainly can differentiate itself from another that has no understanding of its value. Use the opportunities well as an individual and almost all your disabilities disappear and amply demonstrate social levelling. Hope these two simple statements answer the question in some way.
Are we in command with this understanding, is the key issue raised when I state that the learning is missing. Education serving the economy as well as individuals appears to be getting missed in action. We worry about the process of execution of the stages of education but the extraction from the inputs to the stages appears to be missing.
For the public sector education is expenditure, while the private sector understands it as an excellent business sector to invest in. The local economy is gasping for breath while external economies are winning export awards based on educating Sri Lankans!
With the economy in a spin which many feel still quite comfortable with while few others prophesy seriously damaging results points out that our minds perhaps are not exactly capable of deciphering signals clearly either way. The concept of ‘education needs education’ was made with that situation in mind. We know yet we do not know. When the knowledge is divisive the progress realised perhaps is not what you desire.
We teach to send the learned away
We teach to send the learned away. It is interesting to understand the quantum of time spent writing various types of recommendation letters and documents. We hear of advice meted out to those who are finishing post graduate education abroad, ‘please do not think of coming back!’ Such is the state of mind and advice today.
We articulate for the benefit of others considering that as the best business case for the day. Education is seen as a business but not as the great social necessity. Society moves up or down with the quality of this activity.
A recent seminar held by the Education Forum – SL’s Dr. Sujatha Hewage and Dr. Tara de Mel who have come together due to their sincere interest on the value of education to society and for creating a serious discourse – had a presentation which indicated that the 95% of the State’s expenditure is purely to pay the salaries of the teachers. Now just considering even education as a business, an enterprise that engages in an expenditure only to pay salaries of its members, it is easy to conclude that even as a business it is doomed to failure.