Local News: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the higher education system should be designed in such a way that would enable graduates to find employment opportunities speedily, who entre the labour market upon completion of their university education.
Whatever the definitions given to university education, if young people leaving the universities cannot find jobs there must be intrinsically wrong with the system. The President pointed out that there should be an education system that make job opportunities run after graduates instead of them staging demonstrations demanding employment.
President Rajapaksa made these remarks during a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat, today (15) with the Vice Chancellors of Universities and the Chairman of the University Grants Commission.
The Universities and the Schools should reopen only in accordance with recommendations of the health authorities, the President said this adding that the present context must be utilized to further expand the already introduced distance learning system.
He said that at least 30% of the university student population should be attracted towards online education.
President Rajapaksa recalling that thousands of students studying overseas were to be flown back in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic added that such a large number of students seeking higher education abroad is counterproductive in many aspects.
‘Their education abroad causes a huge outflow of foreign exchange. Parents also suffer when their children are away from homes. In order to put an end to this disturbing practice, we need to diversify our university education. It is essential to introduce Degree courses covering areas such as modern technologies including Information Technology, Nursing, Teaching and Tourism.” President emphasized.
President Rajapaksa highlighted the possibility of assembling low-cost computers targeting university students. Engineering Faculties of universities and others who possess the know-how can assist in this exercise. It is a necessity to provide a personal computer to each and every student who is eligible to enter a university in the future. President stated that all university entrants must be given a comprehensive knowledge in communication technology and English language prior to their entry into universities.
In response to a query by President Rajapaksa about the university intake this year Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof. Sampath Amaratunga said that additional 7500 students will be enrolled for tertiary education this time.
Principal Advisor to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education Anura Dissanayake, other members of the UGC and Vice-Chancellors of the universities were present at the discussion.