Sri Lanka appears to do relatively well in terms of gender representation in the broad field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. However, significant gender differences in enrollments exist within STEM fields. In the context of an upcoming technology-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution, being equipped with STEM-related skills will be increasingly important to survive in the future labour market, argues Ashani Abayasekara.
Meeting Challenges in a New World of Work: How Prepared is South Asia for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
One of the plenary sessions at the 12th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES XII), organised by the IPS, deliberated on how best to meet emerging challenges in a technology-led, new world of work, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The panellists discussed how South Asian labour markets will be impacted by the 4IR and what the required policy responses should be in this new reality.
In response to changing skills requirements in the 4IR, new and effective forms of e-learning are being adopted worldwide. Sri Lanka has launched an initiative to develop smart classrooms (SCs) in several schools across the country. Such technologies allow for the installation of interactive tools or applications, uploading homegrown content, and downloading interactive content online, and encourage more critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary in a digital economy. Ashani Abayasekara takes a look at current SC projects in Sri Lanka, with the aim of assessing their role in driving the education sector forward in a 4IR era.
IPS’ New Thinkers Symposium saw researchers from several think tanks presenting their work on broad topics, under the theme of Technology and Economic Transformation. They highlighted the need for dynamic and innovative thinking to succeed in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), in the areas of agriculture, megatrends, social security, trade, and e-governance.
The presence of a large population of youth not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) is a major cause for concern for Sri Lanka. Worryingly, the country recorded a NEET rate of 26.1% in 2016, above the ILO global average estimate of 21.8%. In this blog, Ashani Abayasekara looks at the factors that increase the likelihood of youth becoming NEET and gives several policy recommendations to improve the situation.