The Asian Development Bank and the Sri Lankan government yesterday signed a 400-million-U.S.-dollar loan agreement to support Sri Lanka in transforming its secondary education system to align with the demand for highly skilled and agile workers who can compete in the rapidly changing global economy. A statement from the ADB office in Colombo said the agreement was signed between the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance S. R. Attygalle and ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission Country Director Chen Chen. He said that the government appreciate ADB’s support to Sri Lanka in meeting critical development needs while also assisting with the COVID-19 response program of the country. Secretary to the Ministry of Education Professor Kapila Perera said the ADB had been a long-term and committed partner in helping to improve and modernize the education sector in Sri Lanka. Mr. Chen said ADB was pleased to partner with the government in its efforts to develop a knowledge-based economy and to address challenges facing the education sector in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secondary Education Sector Improvement Program aimed to assist about 953,000 students annually, with skills that would benefit successive generations of students, Chen said. The program will equip the young population with knowledge and skills in science, technology, mathematics, and commerce streams, which are fields of high economic relevance for Sri Lanka. It will enhance readiness for further education in STMC fields and foster competencies for higher productivity and adaptability, the ADB said. The program also focuses on improving teaching quality and teacher training given the importance of quality of teaching and method of instruction on learning.
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