Ashani Abayasekara
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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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Is Sri Lanka’s Grade Five Scholarship Exam an Accurate Predictor of Intellectual Ability?

With the grade five scholarship exam results being released recently, Ashani Abayasekara examines whether top-performing students at the scholarship exam continue to do well in subsequent exams at higher levels. She argues that, while many high scoring scholarship students continue to do well, it does not necessarily mean that the scholarship exam identifies the most intelligent students.

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Improving Sri Lanka’s Learning Outcomes: Get the ABCs Right before Following Others!

Poor quality education systems are a main underlying cause for the ‘learning crisis’. Education systems fail to function effectively due to both ‘misalignment’ and ‘incoherence’, which, if left unaddressed, impede the effectiveness of interventions to improve learning implemented at the school and student levels. Therefore, the author argues that, countries like Sri Lanka cannot simply borrow system elements from other countries and expect them to work well in the home context, without first improving the education system.

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Building a More English-Literate Sri Lanka: The Need to Combat Inequities

In today’s globalised environment, English proficiency is a must-have skill, especially when it comes to the highly-competitive job market. Unfortunately, only 22% of the age 15 and above population in Sri Lanka is literate in English. What are the reasons for this lack of English language skills? Are the government policies directed towards addressing these issues? Ashani Abayasekara explores.

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Is Sri Lanka’s Grade Five Scholarship Exam Akin to a Fool’s Errand?

The grade five scholarship examination is usually the first significant academic hurdle that most youngsters in Sri Lanka face. While children are prepared from a young age to face the exam successfully, how many manage to score above the cut-off mark each year? Does the exam serve its intended objectives of providing better schools and financial aid to bright students? Is it worth the time, money, and effort spent by young children and their parents? This blog by Ashani Abayasekara seeks to answer these questions, using data from the 2016 School Census conducted by the Ministry of Education (MOE).