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.
Generating a high share of tertiary educated university graduates, especially in STEM subjects, is a policy priority for Sri Lanka, given the country’s goal of becoming a knowledge based economy, driving competition through innovation. Properly qualified and trained teachers are the key to achieving this target. However, Sri Lanka sorely lacks subject-qualified teachers in science and mathematics. This blog takes a closer look at the problem.
Sri Lanka’s Budget 2018 has proposed to allocate Rs. 50 million to establish a center dedicated to training teachers in the English Language. Highly qualified teachers in all classrooms are necessary for implementing education reforms aimed at modernizing and improving education in the country; as such proposals for improving teacher training are welcome. This analysis argues that there is no shortage of teachers for English language, science, and mathematics at the national level. However, there is a shortage of qualified and experienced teachers to teach these subjects.