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.
The World Bank’s Human Capital Index (HCI) summarises the ‘amount of human capital a child born today could expect to attain by age 18’. Sri Lanka’s HCI for 2018, the best in the South Asian region, is 0.58. However, there is room for improvement. A closer examination of the sub-indices of the HCI shows that two of the areas that need attention are education and health.
The Sri Lankan rupee (LKR) has depreciated by 10% in nominal terms by end September 2018, posing significant economy-wide risks in view of a hefty total external debt stock at 60% of GDP at end 2017. In this context, the author argues that the Sri Lankan economy is set to face testing times; dollar revenues need to be generated to match dollar-denominated debt service as never before.
Farmers in rural areas struggle with the lack of agricultural inputs, outdated technology used in agronomic practices, unpredictable weather, and difficulties in finding better markets with reasonable prices for their harvest. In most areas, small-scale farmers are sidelined when there are large scale players in the production field. The author argues that Contract Farming (CF) can help even the playing field by integrating traditional farmers into existing modern value chains.
Sri Lanka had climbed to the fourth place among countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2016, according to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI). This means that appropriate climate policies are more important than ever before. In an effort enhance its role in climate policy research, IPS conducted a policy engagement forum this year. The deliberations at the forum reiterated that timely, comprehensive, and evidence-based research is a key pillar in mitigating the impacts of climate change.