Published on: March 12, 2024

President convenes Cabinet Committee to formulate and implement a National Education Policy Framework (NEPF)

  • The Bill for the establishment of the National Teachers’ Council to be submitted to Parliament within a month.
  • Measures to increase Schools Offering Education in English Medium.
  • Each student will be granted a School Completion Certificate, regardless of their performance in national examinations.

The Cabinet Committee to formulate and implement a National Education Policy Framework (NEPF), recognizing education’s crucial role in contemporary economic transformation, convened yesterday (11) under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the President’s Office.

The committee comprises eight ministers, including Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Education Minister Dr. Susil Premjayantha.

Within the NEPF are outlined short-term and medium-term strategies aimed at transforming the education sector. During the meeting, the committee focused specifically on urgent and critical measures necessary to address immediate challenges within the current education landscape.

A Bill to establish a National Council for Teachers, aimed at fostering active teacher participation in decision-making and enhancing the professionalization of teaching services through the introduction of a teacher certification system, will be presented to the Council of Ministers and subsequently to Parliament within a month. This decision has been finalized and is set to move forward for approval.

The goal of this council is to elevate the teaching profession to a position of high recognition. It seeks to enhance teacher professional qualities, introduce a clear professional development framework with a specific pathway for educators, and assess the teacher salary structure to align with emerging professional standards. Additionally, it will fulfil requirements such as establishing a system to recognize and reward both teachers and principals for their contributions and achievements.

Since the year 2000, eight English medium subjects have been introduced in schools. However, though 24 years have lapsed, these subjects are currently taught in English medium in only 765 schools. Given the significant societal demand for English medium education, it was proposed in today’s meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on National Education Policy that the number of such schools should be increased to 1,000. This expansion aims to accommodate at least 200,000 students receiving education in English by the year 2025.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed the recruitment of 2,500 new teachers to expedite the implementation of this initiative. Given the urgent nature of this task, it was further advised to swiftly hire 1,000 qualified retired teachers capable of teaching subjects in English medium on a contract basis for three years. Additionally, the directive includes recruiting 1,100 graduates proficient in teaching in English medium through an open competitive examination.

This will also include 400 College of Education (Vidyapeeta) teachers who are set to graduate from Colleges of Education that currently provide training for teachers in English medium.

In addition to the school leaving certificate currently given to students who complete junior secondary education as well as senior secondary education, the students are not entitled to any quality certificate that shows the various skills and recognized subjects that a student has shown in school over the years. Accordingly, a policy decision was reached to provide a Certificate of Completion to every student, not limited to the certificates showing the results of the national examinations, effective from this year.

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