A Glimpse of Sri Lanka’s Rich Education Legacy

a group of people standing in front of a building

Sri Lanka has a rich education legacy that spans centuries starting from monastic schools in the past to today’s more modern education. (Photo by Jorge Segovia on Unsplash)

Sri Lanka has a rich educational legacy that dates back to ancient times. The country has a long-standing tradition of valuing education, which has been instrumental in shaping its modern education system.

In this article, we will explore the history of education in Sri Lanka, the evolution of educational systems throughout the years and the future of education in Sri Lanka.

The History of Education in Sri Lanka

boarding school girls classroom

A Ceylonese classroom in an 18th-century boarding school. (From Seven Years in Ceylon – stories of mission life by Mary and Margaret Leitch available at archive.org).

The country’s ancient education system focused on imparting knowledge of religion, literature, law, medicine, astrology, and warfare. Education was provided in monasteries and by private tutors.

During the colonial period, the British introduced a modern education system that focused on providing education in English. They established schools, colleges, and universities, and this education system became the foundation for Sri Lanka’s modern education system.

  • The Evolution of Educational Systems

    After gaining independence in 1948, Sri Lanka reformed its education system to make it more accessible and inclusive. The government established a free education system that provided equal educational opportunities to all children regardless of their social background. The education system was restructured to include primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

  • The Importance of Monastic Education

    Buddhist monastic education has played a significant role in the development of Sri Lanka’s education system. Monks established schools and universities where students were taught Buddhist philosophy, language, and culture. Buddhist monasteries were also centres of learning where students could learn about different subjects, including science, mathematics, and medicine.

    Apart from Buddhist monasteries, Christian and Catholic Priests who came to the island with the colonists also contributed to Sri Lankan education. They introduced writing as most of the teaching on the island depended on eidetic memory as information was passed down verbally from Buddhist monks to their students.

Modernisation of Education in Sri Lanka

 

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera

Students of Lyceum International School Wattala posing for a photo after winning a cricket tournament. (Photo from Facebook)

  • State Schools and Vocational Training Centres

    The modernisation of education in Sri Lanka has been ongoing since the country gained independence. The government has introduced reforms to the education system to make it more relevant to the 21st century.

    The curriculum has been updated to include new subjects, and technology has been integrated into the learning process. The government has also established vocational training centres and polytechnic institutes to provide technical education and skills training.

  • International Schools

    The advent of international schools provided an option for parents who want their children to be educated according to international standards. These schools introduced international curriculums and examinations for students specifically looking for university opportunities abroad.

    A major difference between these schools and state schools was that students were taught in the English language. This slowly permeated to state schools, especially prominent private schools around Colombo.

    At Lyceum we make sure we are up to date with the government’s regulations on education and what are the new international teaching and learning requirements. We have applied education 4.0 techniques into our curricula to ensure our students get the highest standard of education.

The Future of Education in Sri Lanka

a group of people wearing costumes

School children enjoying a field trip. (Photo by Javier Saint Jean on Unsplash)

The future of education in Sri Lanka looks bright. The government has set ambitious targets to achieve a high literacy rate, increase enrollment in secondary and tertiary education, and improve the quality of education.

The government has also made efforts to provide equal educational opportunities to all children, regardless of their social background. In addition, the government has introduced reforms to the education system to make it more inclusive, relevant, and responsive to the needs of the students.

Sri Lanka’s rich education legacy has played a significant role in shaping its modern education system. The country’s commitment to education has resulted in a high literacy rate and a well-educated workforce. The government’s efforts to modernise the education system and make it more inclusive and relevant have positioned Sri Lanka as a regional education leader.

The future of education in Sri Lanka looks bright, and the government’s commitment to providing equal educational opportunities to all children will ensure that Sri Lanka’s education system continues to thrive and grow.

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