President Ranil Wickremesinghe has reaffirmed that the country’s education policies will be safeguarded from political influence and unified under a single legal framework.
Speaking at the 150th anniversary celebration of Eppawala Siddhartha Central College yesterday (07), the president emphasized the need for a new education system to drive rapid development as Sri Lanka rebuilds following an economic crisis.
He underscored the importance of preparing Sri Lanka’s education system to become a global university in the future, requiring swift and substantial education reforms.
As part of the commemorative event, President Wickremesinghe unveiled a special postage stamp in honour of the college’s anniversary.
The President’s visit marked a historic moment as the first-ever visit by a sitting President to Siddhartha Central College.
He also left a commemorative entry in the college’s guest book.
The president extended his warm appreciation to the outstanding students of the college who demonstrated exceptional academic achievements in the 2021 A Level examination.
In recognition of their hard work and dedication, he presented them with commemorative gifts as a token of honour and then joined the faculty for a group photograph.
During the commemorative event, a thoughtful and artistic gift crafted by a talented college student was bestowed upon President Wickremesinghe.
The president’s comments underscored the urgency of revitalizing Sri Lanka’s education system, emphasizing that the reforms should be designed with a forward-looking perspective, encompassing the needs and advancements of the next two to three decades.
He highlighted the importance of integrating emerging technologies and Artificial Intelligence into the education curriculum, recognizing their pivotal role in preparing students for the future workforce.
Additionally, the president recalled the introduction of an Associate Degree system in 1989, intended to align education with employment opportunities. Despite facing challenges during its initial implementation, he expressed his intention to reintroduce this system, aiming to create a more job-oriented education landscape in Sri Lanka.
President Wickremesinghe expressed a visionary aspiration for Sri Lanka, envisioning it as a global university hub, open to students from all corners of the world and stressed the importance of preventing education policy from being influenced by politics and individual ministerial needs.
The event also featured an address by the former opposition leader of the North Central Province and a past pupil of Siddhartha Central College, Kasturi Anuradhanayaka.
The event was attended by state minister Shehan Semasinghe, north central province governor Mahipala Herath, secretary of the Ministry of Education Nihal Ranasinghe, Sri Siddhartha College principal Mr. Janaka Herath, Staff members and past and present students.