Professor G. L. Peiris, Minister of Education, held comprehensive discussions on support for the education system in Sri Lanka with Ms. Hanna Singer, Head of the United Nations System of Sri Lanka, and senior members of her staff.
Minister Peiris pointed out the urgent need to respond to the increased demand for opportunities in vocational training. He said that the Ministry is engaged in vigorous planning to strengthen and diversify lateral avenues of entry at different stages into vocational training institutions. He listed as examples the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technology, the National Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority and the Department of Technical and Educational Training. The 9 Colleges of Technology, one for each province are playing a crucial role. UNIVOTEC is the principal institution. He identified as the central challenge the strengthening of linkages among the general, higher, tertiary, technical and vocational education systems.
The training of trainers and skills development throughout the spectrum were areas into which the U.N. System expressed their keen interest in making a significant input.
The contribution which UNICEF could make into primary education, nutrition and related matters was discussed in detail.
It was decided to continue discussions between Ministry officials and the U.N. System, with a view to commencing a practical program within the next three months.