Education for Knowledge Society Project: Project Completion Report
sector: Education | country: Sri Lanka
The need for further scaling up of the Education Sector Development Program (ESDP) became clear. The Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP) upgraded 100 secondary schools and one post-secondary school among many. At the end of the project, there is a clear need to strengthen capacity in more secondary schools, which should be done using a program approach. Specifically, it is necessary to ensure that students in disadvantaged and rural areas have equitable access to quality secondary education, sufficient training is given to teachers, and the needed resources are provided.
In addition, a more systematic design would give more scope to the executing agency to develop synergies among outputs and to make systematic changes. For instance, the EKSP offered many ad-hoc teacher training courses through different project activities. But there was no systematic approach to integrate these activities into a comprehensive and structured professional development plan. The core issue that influences the quality of teaching in Sri Lanka is the lack of clear career progression paths with proper professional development opportunities for both teachers and principals.
Successful activities need to be institutionalized and scaled up. The effectiveness of upgrading 100 secondary schools is a good example that school-based management builds ownership and accountability, and increases the quality of schooling as a result. The need for more good quality secondary schools is urgent for the country. The success of school grants is another example of small pilot activities. Such intervention yielded great returns and it needs to be sustained in order to receive greater benefits in the long run.