Nearest School is the Best School

Sri Lanka education currently falls under the control of both the Central Government and the Provincial Councils, with some responsibilities lying with the Central Government and the Provincial Council having autonomy for others. Total of 10194 schools are registered under these two categories with the student population of 4.1 Million and 241,018 teachers.

The Ministry of Education is implementing a national program called “The Nearest School is the Best School” (NSBS) as a flagship program of the Ministry’s medium term strategic development plan from 2016 to 2020 with the aim of achieving the objectives of the fivefold education policy statement of the government under the theme of ensuring equity in education. The overall budget of the program is 64.95 Billion.

The primary focus of establishing Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Ministry of Education is to ensure the infrastructure facilities for the schools. However, over the period, the Ministry of Education has given the additional responsibilities to the PMU such as developing infrastructure facilities National Colleges of Education, Teachers Training Colleges, refurbishment of National library building, renovation of Isurupaya building, Pirivena school development and establishment of smart classrooms to the PMU.

The overall goal

Develop a system of schools intended to create an aesthetically minded, creative and goodhearted child who is imbued with qualities, characteristics, skills, knowledge, attitudes and abilities for the purpose of uplifting education qualitatively and quantitatively.

NSBS Expected Results

  • Identified schools’ infrastructure facilities are developed
  • Produce a total personality capable of winning the world, which has become a global village with the advance of technological skills.
  • Strengthen the school management while improving effectiveness of the rural schools.
  • Produce a generation of virtuous wise students with a good personality that has the capability to contribute towards achieving the development targets of the country.
  • The number of students attracted to urban popular schools is minimized.
  • Ensure equal opportunities for all children in education regardless of religion, language and ethnicity.

Criteria for Selection of Schools for “The Nearest School is the Best School” Program

  1. Existence of popular schools with a high public demand in the vicinity of the school to be selected.
  2. Geographical location of the school.
  3. Availability of an adequate amount of land belonging to the school, for physical expansion.
  4. Projections in relation to the student flow.
  5. Having the potential for educational development with an optimum number of students (2000 – 3000)
  6. Effect of other regional development plans.
  7. Socio-economic background.
  8. Transport patterns. It is proposed that 1 or 2 schools from each Divisional Secretary’s Division are selected on the basis of the above criteria. (The number of schools is subject to change under special circumstances.)