by Sanath Nanayakkare
In spite of our free education system, nearly 50% of children in the rural areas drop out on the threshold of G.C.E (O/L) while a total of 16% of the children of both rural and estate communities do not attend school at all, Samantha Ranatunga, chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in Colombo recently.
“In such circumstances, we in the private sector who pressurise the government to spend more on education should also play an active role in monitoring and upgrading the quality of educational institutions in the country, the CCC chairman noted.
Ranatunga who is also the Managing Director/CEO of CIC Company/Group said so addressing the 176th AGM of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently as he took over the leadership of the Chamber.
“Private educational institutes are mushrooming because only a few responsible business organizations are playing their role in this important sector. I feel this is an indictment on the entire private sector, he said.
“If we need our young people to have the right skill-set and capabilities to actively participate in the new knowledge economy, the private sector also has to undertake its responsibility to make it happen. This whole exercise shouldn’t be left to the government alone, Ranatunga stressed.
“For a start, in close collaboration with the universities of the country, the Ceylon Chamber will strive to increase the standards of education in subjects related to business. We will do this to empower the rural youth on a par with the youth in the urban areas who possess the right competencies required by the rapidly transforming economy. In the end, it will not only provide the transforming industrial sector with skilled personnel, it will also help the rural youth to do better in life and advance in their chosen careers, he said.