IPS Draws Attention to the Shortage of Qualified and Experienced Teachers

28 November 2017

IPS Research Fellow, Nisha Arunatilake, recently noted that while Sri Lanka had a surplus of teachers, the country was experiencing a shortage of qualified and experienced teachers, especially in subjects of mathematics and science.

Given the recent Budget’s proposals to improve STEM education in the country, she said this was an area that needed urgent attention when it comes to education sector reforms. In 2015, 45% of students who sat for the G.C.E. Ordinary Level (O-Level) examination either failed the exam or only conditionally passed due to failing mathematics.

She noted that one of the main reasons behind the shortage of qualified teachers could be attributed to the lack of proper teacher training in the tertiary education sector. Dr. Arunatilake pointed out that only two out of the 17 state universities had Faculties of Education, while only three had Departments of Education.

She made these remarks on at the press conference held on 28 November 2017, to launch IPS’ latest publication, ‘Better Schools for Better O-Level Results in Sri Lanka,’ authored by IPS Research Officer, Ashani Abayasekara, and herself.

The authors recommended that Sri Lanka should expand the tertiary education sector to produce more education degree holders, while taking measures to improve pre-service teacher training programmes.

They also noted that Sri Lanka should systematically recruit teachers, as the number of teachers in privileged schools – that report better O-Level results –  exceeded the number of recommended teachers, while underprivileged and low-achieving schools did not have enough teachers, leading to an inequitable allocation of teachers.

The experience and the qualifications of the teachers are reflected in the students’ O-Level results, according to the study.

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Media Highlights

Art TV, 28 Nov. 2017

Shortage of qualified teachers in math and science linked to poor O/L results: IPS – Daily FT, 29 Nov. 2017   [ Article PDF Format   685KB ]

Poor teacher recruitment policies hamper academic performance of govt. schools: IPS – Daily Mirror, 29 Nov. 2017 [ Article PDF Format   2.2MB ]

Sri Lanka experiencing shortage of teachers, despite surplus – IPS – News First, 29 Nov. 2017  [ Article PDF Format 724 KB ]

Teach the teachers – Daily FT, 30 Nov. 2017  [ Article PDF Format   81KB ]

‘Better Schools for Better O-Level Results in Sri Lanka’ draws attention to the shortage of qualified and experienced teachers – The Island, 30 Nov. 2017  [ Article PDF Format   450KB ]

Lack of education faculties means poor quality teachers – Sunday Times, 03 Dec. 2017  [ Article PDF Format   196KB ]

Making all schools the best school – Daily FT, 28 Dec. 2017 [ Article PDF Format   83 KB ]