Education, Jobs, and Youth

Did the Blue-Green Budget Forget Migrants and their “Greenbacks”?

While Sri Lanka’s 2018 Budget was applauded on many fronts, Bilesha Weeraratne argues that it has ignored an important aspect of the country’s economy: migrants’ remittances. Annually, over 250,000 Sri Lankans leave for foreign employment. Yet, the proposed Blue-Green Budget had no reference to remittances, nor the migrant workers who send them home. Does this mean migration and remittances are not priorities of the Sri Lankan economy?


Budget Allocations for Teacher Training: Is Sri Lanka Playing its Cards Right?

Sri Lanka’s Budget 2018 has proposed to allocate Rs. 50 million to establish a center dedicated to training teachers in the English Language. Highly qualified teachers in all classrooms are necessary for implementing education reforms aimed at modernizing and improving education in the country; as such proposals for improving teacher training are welcome. This analysis argues that there is no shortage of teachers for English language, science, and mathematics at the national level. However, there is a shortage of qualified and experienced teachers to teach these subjects.


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).


Poverty and Access to Education: An Old Problem Affecting the Young Generation of Sri Lanka

Poverty is one of the main reasons children leave school early. This in turn increases the level of poverty, and worse, keeps the poor trapped in a poverty cycle. Education is the key to escaping this poverty trap. Thus, the author takes a closer look at how lives of the poor could be improved by keeping children in school.


Unpaid Care Work: The Overlooked Barrier in Women’s Economic Empowerment

Over 75% of the world’s total unpaid care work is done by women. However, this work is largely excluded from national income accounts and macro-economic statistics. This has led to significant gaps in economic policymaking, both in Sri Lanka and around the world. This blog argues that recognizing, reducing and redistributing unpaid care work is vital to fostering economic growth, and closing gender gaps in the labour market.