Ashani Abayasekara
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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).

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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, …