Ashani Abayasekara

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.


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).


Ending the Test Score Horse Race: Transforming Sri Lanka’s Education

Shadow Education – better known as tuition classes – is a thriving industry in Sri Lanka. Students are made to believe that shadow education is essential to achieving academic success at the school level. This notion is perpetuated by Sri Lanka’s rigid and one-way education system, with an overemphasis on examinations and test scores. This blog by Ashani Abayasekara argues that this phenomenon actually undermines all-round education and systematic changes need to take place to overcome this challenge.

Global Trade Protectionism is Rising Discreetly: Sri Lanka Must Stay Alert

As the Sri Lanka Economic Association’s Annual Sessions 2012 kick off today on the theme ‘Export Growth for Sustained Development’, Ashani Abayasekara (Research Assistant – IPS) writes that trade protectionism is raising its ugly head through subtle yet substantial ways, …

Consumers’ Voice Missing in Sri Lanka’s Debates on Deeper Regional Integration

A new report by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society finds that if South Asia imports more from within the region instead of from outside, South Asian consumers can save around US$ 2 billion. But often consumer’s interests get sidelined in the debates on regional integration and bilateral trade deals, where the interests of political, diplomatic and business interest groups dominate the agenda.