Sri Lanka appears to do relatively well in terms of gender representation in the broad field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. However, significant gender differences in enrollments exist within STEM fields. In the context of an upcoming technology-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution, being equipped with STEM-related skills will be increasingly important to survive in the future labour market, argues Ashani Abayasekara.
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.
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.
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.
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.