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Category: Education

Education is the process  that facilitate learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include story telling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves.[1] Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered education.

 

Sri Lankan education is inherited to a 2500 years old great history and enjoying free education of Sri Lanka while the literacy rate of the Sri Lankan  population is 92% and it takes a high rate than expected from a third world country. While Sri Lanka is possessed a higher literacy rate and that is among the few countries of the high literacy  rates. While the education has been possessed since 543BC and it has a great connection with the life and the culture. The modern Sri Lankan education, which was started by the British Emperors in the 19th century is ruled by the central government, provincial councils, and the authority power. Basically, the fund is provided from the primary education to the higher education by  the  following  government  ministries.

  • Ministry of education: School, Pirivens (Separated schools for Buddhist followers) teacher training collages and education faculties.
  • Examination Department: Providing services of national examination.
  • Ministry of Higher Education: For universities.
  • Ministry of education Service: Providing physical resources for general education.
  • Ministry of Technical and vocational Training centers and technical collages.

University education is the highest education that can be obtained by a student, within the education system in this country. But there are some educational stages that a student passes until entering to the university. When passing these stages on the way to the university education,  many  of  the  students  drop  out  from   the  education.

Let’s study about this first   

Let’s pay attention to the  year 2017.

The total number of students entered to Grade 01 4,165,964
Students facerd to Garde 05 scholarship examination 1,700,675
Number of students, studied from garde 6-9 1,331,069
The group, received school education from 10-11 621,520
The group, recived education up to  grades 12-13 512,700

Accordingly, the students of 4,165,964 have been qualified to enter grade 1, but the number of students who finish the education, throughout the period of 13 years is; only 512,700. The above mentioned data represent that  most of the students  who drop out schools,  do  not have any economic security for their future.

Thus, a very limited number of students attend for university education after A/Ls. Most of the students enter the art faculties among the groups that qualified for the universities. Under the theme of “educational reform of the organization.” Be  Smart  To  Build  Our  Country “   in  due  to  pay more attention about  the  students  of  Art  Faculties.

THE  AIMS:

  • Reforming the education in the faculty of Art, which will be appropriate to  the job market.
  • Reducing the percentage of unemployment graduates.
  • Creating an attitudinal change among the graduates who pass out aiming a government job.
  • Giving some vocational training for the students who drop out school after O/Ls.
  •  Giving  a  respect  for every job.
  • Include the subjects to  the  school  curriculum, that can gain pre-vocational knowledge.
  • Essential system of instruction for those who drop out school.

ANALYSIS:

Reforming  the  Art  Faculty education  in universities, to be matched to the job market.

Introduction of the university education.

The present education is expanded up to year 13.The  compulsory  education  of  the  school  children  for  13  years,  should  be  systematically  planned. The students who complete a 13 year school life, enter the university according to their  educational qualification. The university grants commission which was established under the ACT 16 in 1978,  is the main functional institute of  the  university  system  in  Sri  Lanka. It is located at No: 20, Ward Place, Colombo 7.  The late Minister of education. Mr.Lalith Athulathmudali, initiated for the  development of   higher education in  Sri  Lanka,  in  1980. “The “Mahapola Fund” which   was  started   by him  has  continuously been   come,  up-  to – day. There are 15 government universities and 3 campuses in Sri Lanka at the moment. Our organization has paid more attention towards the art faculty and the government universities that offer the art degree are denoted  below.

  • University of Colombo
  • University of Kelaniya
  • University of Sri Jayawardanapura
  • University of Ruhunu
  • University of Peradeniya
  • University of Jaffna
  • The Eastern University
  • South Eastern University
  • Rajarata University

When discussing about the university  education, Faculty of Arts has become a topic for special talk, even because  it conducts higher education  curricular, there’s  no  job  market  in  relevant  to such  curricular in the country. This is one of the main educational issue that prevails in this country. Here we should try to make reforms within the system of university education. A principle which is appropriate for the job market should be created within art faculties. It is a common fact we all know that, the majority of the students among all qualified for the University  admission from  the  A/L results  are the students who have art faculty  qualification.  In some years, more than thousands of students are qualified to enter the  art  faculties.

Number of Candidates Qualifying and admitted to Undergraduate courses of the Higher Educational Institutions Academic Year 2013 – 2016

Note :

All the candidates who attained the minimum requirements for Admission to the university at the GCE (A/L) Examination

Excludes 28 students who admitted under foreign intake and teacher’s intake

Other refers to the odd subject combination introduced from GCE (A/L)2011

Technology stream was commenced from Academic year 2015/16

The above shown tables denote the number of students admitted yearly for undergraduate programs and according to that,  the students who qualified for other faculties are comparatively lesser than the students who qualified for art faculty. Actually, some vocational training is given  out of the university itself for the students who are qualified for the other faculties. The question that is raised  from  our organization is the curricula of the art faculties in which the majority of students admit, is not created to be matched for the existing  job market.

Total Graduate (Bachelor Degree) Output – 2016

We try to point out  the total output of students from all the   above  mentioned government universities  in  each  year. Accordingly we see that relatively to the percentage,  many of the students who leave the university seeking jobs are higher than the students who leave the university with a job in hand. The basic target of the “Be  Smart  To  Build  Our  Country ” is to change this situation. That means to make the students prepare, out frame the art faculty to leave the university with a job in hand.

Total Postgraduate Output – 2016

Recurrent Expenditure on Academic Services by University 2015- 2016

               (Universities and HEIs established Under the university Act )                (Rs.’000)

Around ten thousands of students pass out from all the faculties every year as graduates. But when comparing this situation between the art faculty and other faculties, a controversy arises, because the graduates who pass out from the other faculties have some kind  of professional value out of  the university. They  also  have a higher  demand in the job market. But it is doubtful whether the students who  leave from the art faculties have any vocational qualification or training? Due to this reason even if they leave from the university, they have to struggle for  the  prevailing  jobs,  because they have studied the subjects like ; Sinhala, history, Geography, political science, Buddhist civilization, social science, international relations and psychology etc. It is doubtful  whether  these subjects are matched to compete with the local job market  in  this  extent.

The subject curricula of some selected universities are as below

We never intend, these prevailing subjects are not applicable. But there should be an understanding about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of the following  subjects

Suggestions

The proposed subjects that we hope to introduce:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Hospitality
  • Computer network
  • Air hostess Field
  • Ticketing officer
  • Cabin crew
  • Library science
  • Marketing
  • Secretarial course
  • Wedding planning
  • Camera

Our effort is to assemble the above mentioned subjects to the curriculum of  ART faculty. But we alone cannot confront for that. So it is expected to get the support from the members of the  above shown sample as it will enable to get the maximum benefit by reducing challenges occur to the art faculty students.

You can argue that “We study the above  mentioned subjects at the university level.” But the problem is; these subjects are not included as internal subject. We need to create the students to be matched to  the  future  job market, from the students who admit into the art faculties of the university.  Some of the above mentioned subjects are opened for the external students.   Though  they  get  the  opportunity   they  have  to pay a huge amount of money to follow these subjects. Even though the students who received general passes, have the opportunity to follow these subjects as external students of the universities, but  it is doubtful that, why    the  internal university students do not get this opportunity.

The following subject streams can be followed as external candidates in faculty of Arts at Kelaniya University.

  • Diploma in photography
  • Diploma in Business English
  • Diploma in disaster management
  • Diploma in library and information sciences
  • Diploma in counselling
  • Diploma in mass communication

According to the grading of universities, the Colombo University which takes the first place, has several subjects in the ART faculty that can follow as external candidates. Among those subjects, only the following subjects are available similarly to the subjects that we have introduced.

  • Certificate course in disaster risk management
  • Certificate course in Geography information system
  • Certificate course in community development practice
  • Certificate course in Computer application
  • Advance Certificate course in Local governance and leadership

We can point out the subjects, that can be followed externally in the main art faculties in this manner. But for studying these as external subjects, it will  be  cost nearly about one hundred thousand rupees or more than that. So, our suggestion is that, to take steps to teach these subjects for the  students who qualified as external candidates to the universities.

It is made compulsory to complete Basic English and computer courses for all the students in art faculties, by now. This can be denoted as a feasible situation.

Except this, we  hope  to propose a  latest curriculum, that is not famous in Sri Lanka. That is  the  ‘Liberal  Art Subject Field’,  which has been spreading in the world as related to art subjects.

We can present definitions regarding Liberal Arts as follows.

Liberal Arts :

Although  liberal  arts  is  not  popular  in  Sri  Lanka,  it  is  a subject  of  art  that  is  spreading  in  the  world. Here  the  studies  focus   by  paying  more  attention  to  the subject areas  such as history, language, and literature that is intended to give general knowledge  to develop specific skills needed for a profession. ( Merriam  Webster Dictionary)

Conviction  of   various  subjects  and  learning  of  how  we  think  and  how  we  express  our  ideas  and  deeper  understanding  of   the  world and  deeper  understanding  about  a  subject.       General  education  where  you  will  connect  what  you  have  learned  from various  disciplines. ( Dyson  College, PACE University – New York).

Some relevant subjects under this, can be categorized as follows.

Humanities- includes arts, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, ethic modern foreign language, music, theater, speech, classical language

Social sciences– include history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, economics, geography, business informatics.

Natural sciences- includes astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology, zoology, geology, earth sciences

Formal sciences– includes mathematics, logic, statistics,

It is specific that this curriculum is formed to represent in all the aspects. The students get the opportunity to follow all the subject streams. One can argue that. It is not applicable to follow mathematics and science subjects for the students who studied art subjects. But under this, the students get the privilege to have the awareness about all the subjects and go forward from the subject field that one is brought to the university system of Sri Lanka, it would open further opportunity along a new measure. Even though Sri Lanka is in a top place in  literacy,  Still it was unable  to  reach a progress in vocational level.

 Limitation of the experiment

Some protests can be arisen from several sectors at our attempt in creating a job market for Art faculty students. Namely;

  • Lacking of facilities in universities for teaching the above mentioned
  • Non- availability of skilled lecturers in universities to teach those subjects.
  • Arising views that “The old subjects will be removed by introducing new subjects.

These kinds of problems may arise, but we have optional suggestions for this too.

Our suggestion is that, there are many private firms to hire graduates. Such firms can be searched to refer the university students to them. Then the provisions can be received from those firms and can hire the skilled lecturers to teach those subjects.

The university education of developed states.

The curriculum of the art faculties of the top ranked universities in the world, should be followed.

Hoping a proportional study about the subjects included for Art Faculties within the system of these universities. We  point  out  in  the  following  table, the curriculum that is taught in Art Faculties  of the above mentioned universities

It is a specific factor of teaching the subjects that have the importance in vocational level, other than the art subjects for curriculum of art faculties, seemingly in all the universities consensus as top in the world. New subjects should be introduced without giving any reprimands to the traditional art subjects.

But this situation is different in Sri Lanka. Even if the students receive the opportunity  to admit the universities the registration for external  candidates, takes place in very low percentage, comparatively to the other faculties. due to unavailability of subjects that are applicable to the job market. Accordingly we point out the importance of establishing a quality university education,  for  the  undergraduates  in  Sri  Lanka.

Conclusion

Though the Curriculum Development Reform Unit   has  .introduced new methods  of teaching, improving the staff professional guidance and counselling,  methods of continuous teaching including methods of assessments, they are implemented very slowly. Not only bringing forth of graduates, there should be an institute that guides the rulers and gives hand for the development for the timely needs or to protect the free  education of the country.

Reducing the  competition for  government  jobs.

There is  a huge demand for government jobs among graduates by today. Specially most of the art graduates expect that, only a government job is suitable for them. The government job vacancies are available only within some period of time, comparatively ample of job opportunities are available in the private sector. Sometimes the benefits from the private sector are more, than the government sector. Some of the graduates think that, government jobs are better, based on the pension. But the problem arises here is the job opportunities are not created according  to  the knowledge of the Art graduates. This issue can be reduced by establishing  the above mentioned opportunities for  the studies in the Art Faculties.

Giving vocational Training for the school leavers after O/Ls.

The groups that leave the school after O/Ls in every year are increasing. The discussions about this crowed is not a practicable one. Among these groups;

  • Some enter to the marriage life.
  • Some leave for job.
  • Some others tend towards technical collages.

The groups tend to marriage life.

We cannot see successful marriage lives among the crowd  from those who enter the marriage lives before completing the correct age? Here our suggestion is;

Establishing family tribunal. Accordingly, our expectation is the couples that have been entered to marriage lives  before the age maturity should be presented for  once in every three month  family  tribunal. This is not a court system. It is expected to provide instructions and guidance for  a  successful family life.

A family planning unit should be established, in those sectors itself. Accordingly, they  get  the  opportunity  to  conduct  the family corporation in a correct manner. Some groups work without any awareness or enthusiasm about the family planning, and some groups refuse the tendency towards these and even  to follow the instruction regarding that. They show a reluctant for this. Within such situation a lot of advantages can be possessed by establishing a family tribunal. The families that do not follow any family planning, have a lot of children. Sometimes the chief occupant instigates for some illegal acts due to financial problems. If the chief occupant is  imprisoned  for  any anti- social acts,  then  his  wife  may  also  tend  towards  anti –  social  deeds,    These  acts  may  cause  for  the breakdown of all family corporation.

The family corporation will often be supervised though the “family tribunal” that we hope to introduce. It will be a great  help to strengthen the family corporation within the society.

One of  our  another  suggestion is that,  to follow a course under some sort of curriculum,  for the groups who are expecting for matrimony, before  the  maturity age.

In the practice of Catholicism, an awareness program called “Poya class” is conducted a  few days for the advancement of the awareness of marriage life,  for those who expect to  enter  the  marriage life. But these classes are limited only for  two days. We need to implement this program for all the married couples specially because this  program  will  help to reduce the cultural conflicts that occur within the marriage  lives.

Tendency for job opportunities after O/Ls.

Here the suggestion that we present is. Most probably they do not employ in higher positions and they engage in the positions like.

  • Labouring
  • Industrial
  • Masonry
  • Carpentry

Therefore,  we suggest to offer some vocational value for those who refer the employments after O/Ls, and to establish a specified collage which is  changed from the formal procedure for that. It should be another form of short term work shop  other  than the long term courses. Accordingly, this school will be able;

  • Improving the vocational skills.
  • Giving instruction for increasing efficiency.
  • Giving a training to manage with instruments.
  • Motivating for good work.

Then the individuals get the opportunity to work with a pride. Our aim is to work in every profession with a value. While a very less amount is changed to admit for this. A valuable certificate is offered to assure the experience form this school. There’s a low recognition for some profession in the society today. Those individuals are accepted in a very low level by the society. Just think; if there are no road cleaners, how can we go cleanly on roads. If there are no garbage collectors, we will have to spend an unclean life, or otherwise we will have the scavengers, what will happen our hygienic work?

These professions can never remove from the society because such groups are indispensable for the social welfare and by receiving such a professional training the opportunity will be opened for them to do those profession in  a  respectable manner.

Including the subjects that give pre- vocational knowledge to school curriculum.

The next suggestion that we propose is introducing the subjects that give pre- vocational knowledge to the school syllabus.

To be practiced about the nature of jobs a part from the main curriculum:

Safety

Professional Discipline.

A professional path can be received to the school leavers also by introducing such subjects school curriculum. Otherwise this will be helped to select A/L subjects. There’s no any other practical subjects to give a practical training expect home science in the school curriculum. We need to introduce these subject to the school levels.  There  should be  more   attention on safety before engaging in any subjects. A knowledge of pre- skilled can be given in the school itself.

The lessons, we can learn from the Japanese education system.

The saying “Japanese are talented is always heard and very familiar to us”. Even though the Japanese are small in the size of the body, their  talents  in every aspects,  as well as their physical fitness and courtesy is caused for them to be very famous in the world top countries in literacy. The 99. 9% of  the  secret behind Japanese for being clever is;  their education system.

Their education system is based as elementary education, from grade one to grade six and the lower secondary education from grade seven to grade nine is compulsory for students. Thus most of the students follow this period from public schools.

About 94.3% of Japanese students complete their upper secondary education from grade 10 to 12, even though it is not compulsory

Good habits before knowledge.

Ten  fifteen  years  before,  the  little ones  learned to write letters after admitted to grade one class, but by today, Sinhala and English letters are taught in many of the pre- schools.  Most  of  the  small ones  are  unable to grasp the Sinhala letters due to the complexity of them within such a small age. So they show hesitancy to go to pre- school. Is it suitable  to accustom of writing letters in such a small age? The situation in Japan is completely different. During the first three years of the school, the students do not face any examinations in the system of Japanese education, instead the students are accustomed to create  good habits and personality among themselves during this few period. Thus they are taught to respect others and to love the animals and the environment.  Thus the generosity, kindness, self – control  and empathy are also inculcated in the children’s  mind during this phase.

Tidiness and Cleanliness.

In Japan, there’s no separated staff to clean the schools like in Sri Lanka. Not only the class rooms but also bathrooms and even toilets are cleaned by the school  children. The children are divided into groups and a time table is prepared to denote the way of engaging in cleaning tasks  and  the  students  are  appointed  to  clean  different  locations  of  the  school  Every  student  thereby develops  the  habit  of  keeping  their  surroundings  clean  throughout  their  12   years  of  school life,   as a  part  of  their  daily  routine.     The belief of the Japanese education is,  the children can learn the team spirit, helping others as well as to keep the school clean and tidy through such  tasks.

Thus, when they spend the time and  strength for sweeping, cleaning the floor, and cleaning the windows, they automatically accustom to respect others and to keep the common places clean.

Japanese believe that the leaning enables through teaching. Therefore when teaching mathematics, they use a practical method that is  able to learn by discussing. After coming to the class, the math teacher. first give an introduction about  the lesson that the students have to learn within the relevant period. Then gives  a simple example, and a question related  to  the lesson and a question  is noted on the board.

First the student who solve the problem, refer the answer to the teacher. If that answer is correct then the teacher’s task will be finished. Then the student who gave the correct answer become the teacher. Then he checks whether the answer of the second  student who solve the problem  is correct Like wise,   all the students in the class possess the chance of being a teacher. Within the complete period, the teacher who observes  the students,   are  given  his  guidance,  if  necessary.

The educationists intend that, discussing of mathematical problems and teaching someone else help to have a firm grip of understanding the subject matters. The method that is implemented in Japanese education system is treated as a very successful method to increase the enthusiasm for mathematics among the students. If we can introduce such a system for the Sri Lankan system of education, it will help to reduce  a considerable level of   failure  in  mathematics  at  the ordinary level examination.

Balanced Diet

Majority of Sri Lankan students take mid-day-meal from home. Otherwise it is bought from the school canteen. Most of the time, this mid- day- meal is consisted of something instant food. Sometimes it is not sufficient at all, to fulfill the necessity  of daily nutrition. By considering this situation. The ministry of Education has followed various methods to give away a balanced- diet for the school  students. But these anything is implemented in an  appropriate manner.

Within the system of Japanese education, a special attention is paid. While all the Japanese students of elementary stage and lower elementary stage are provided lunch and the kinds of foods and quantity of them are decided by the nutritionists. Most probably this meal is included   with rice, vegetables, fish or meat, and fresh milk. Only yoghurt and fruits are provided as desserts. While Japanese students take their meals at the class room and they discuss of the nutrition and the methods of preparing foods, with their teachers. The aim of this discussion is,  to create a better affinity between the teacher and the students.

 

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