Educational Opportunities for the Poor in Sri Lanka: Assessing Spatial Disparities

Research team

Ganga Tilakaratna
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Ayodya Galapattige
Ruwan Jayathilaka
Ramali Perera


E Book


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Published Year

November 2008


US$ 15 (for hardcopy)

Sri Lanka has made significant progress in terms of its basic education indicators compared to many other developing countries in the world, and is “on track” to achieve the MDG targets of universal primary education and gender parity in education. Such achievements are largely a result of investment in human capital development and various pro-poor education policies pursued by successive governments since the 1940s. Despite such polices and remarkable achievements at the national level, evidence shows considerable disparities in terms of education facilities at more a disaggregated level. In this context, this publication attempts to analyse the availability of resources (both human and physical) of schools to assess the extent of disparity across and within districts. It further examines the effectiveness of education welfare programmes such as the free school textbook and uniform programmes to find out whether and to what extent the benefits of these programmes are equitably received by students of all schools. The publication attempts to bring together the views and suggestions of various stakeholders of the education sector (Government officials, principals, teachers, students and parents) on the above issues and find ways to improve the quality of education received particularly by students from disadvantaged areas.