Ashani Abayasekara
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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.

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In the 4IR, are Smart Classrooms the Future of Sri Lanka’s Education?

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.

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Succeeding in the 4IR Era: Opportunities and Challenges for Sri Lanka

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.

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Lowering Sri Lanka’s NEETs: Need for Smoother School-to-Work Transitions

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.

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How Disability-Inclusive is Education in Sri Lanka? A Preliminary Look

Children with disabilities are often excluded from educational opportunities, and are overlooked when it comes to school completion and learning outcomes. Sri Lanka’s latest Population Census indicates that around 2% of children between the ages 5-14 have some form of disability, of which around only three-fourths attend school, compared to the near universal enrollment of other children. The author argues that, despite Sri Lanka’s well-established legislation promoting disability-inclusive education, there are large gaps between policy and practice.

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