Children

Edtech for Marginalised Children in Sri Lanka: Insights from MENA and Other Asian Countries

The United Nations marks this year’s International Day of Education under the theme “learning for lasting peace” highlighting the important role played by inclusive and equitable education in the sustenance of peace and development.
However, the path to achieving equitable access to quality education by 2030 seems challenging, with only 1 in 6 countries projected to reach this goal. This underscores the need to reconsider current education systems, specifically across the developing world. In Sri Lanka, despite having achieved near-universal participation in education, there is still a long way to go in achieving equitable education for vulnerable groups such as children with disabilities, out-of-school children, school dropouts, migrant workers’ children, children from minority communities etc.

Prioritising Child-Friendly Policies: Addressing Sri Lanka’s Child Malnutrition Crisis

Even before the onset of COVID-19, malnutrition stood as a significant driver of multi-dimensional poverty among children in Sri Lanka. Startling data from the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) in 2019 revealed that one in three children aged 0 to 4 who are multidimensionally poor, are either underweight or stunted. The multiple crises that affected Sri Lanka since 2020 have only exacerbated the already precarious nutrition situation in poor households. This blog argues the need for prioritising social policies focused on children to ensure sustained investment in human capital.

Distance Education during and after COVID-19: Long Road Ahead for Sri Lanka

In what has been recognised as the world’s largest educational crisis, the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a record number of students being forced to stay away from schools and universities. This blog examines the effectiveness of distance education in Sri Lanka, from the perspectives of inclusion and quality, and explores policy measures that can deliver and sustain more equitable and effective learning outcomes, beyond COVID-19.

No School, No Meals: Sri Lanka’s Battle against Child Malnutrition amidst COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and preschools have been closed for nearly three months and until further notice. Missing out on school meals may lead to nutritional deficits of thousands of poor children in Sri Lanka. This is a grave situation, as nutritional shocks during childhood can result long-term effects on health and education outcomes. Given this context, the blog will discuss some steps that can be taken to mitigate nutritional fallouts among vulnerable children.

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).