Open School Unit
Staff of the Unit
|Mr. S. Thuneisingh||Senior Lecturer|
|Mr. B. Rasika||Senior Lecturer|
|Mr. R.M.S.I. Wijebandara||Assistant Lecturer|
|Mr. D.J. Panditharathna||Management Assistant - II|
|Mrs. W.M.M.P.K. Wijekoon||Management Assistant - II|
|Mrs. G.L.W.D. Kulathunga||Office Aide III |
Despite the fact that education has been paid significant attention in the list of priority since independence, it appears that Sri Lanka has failed to ensure equal access of education to all children in the process of completing their formal education. This is vividly evident in the rapid increase of school dropouts. These dropouts are easily liable to become the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups of society who become vulnerable and then future victims. The rigid nature of the formal school system at present has also failed to transform this group as creative and productive members of society.
The Open and Distance Learning (ODL) could be an alternative path for resolving the problem of providing opportunities to access education for those who are not benefited by formal schooling. Because of its two inherent features, namely higher productivity and greater flexibility, the ODL provides an educational system that offers not only opportunities but also choice and freedom to learn. It offers flexibility in its structures and creates opportunities to take education to the doorsteps of the learner. It is believed that the open learning system, using modern communication technologies and multi-channel - learning with high-grade instructional materials, would achieve Millennium Development Goals of Education For All.
Some of the developing countries like India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria and Thailand have already introduced the Open School, as a low-cost, non-formal, flexible, innovative channel to address learning needs especially of the disadvantaged. Their Open Schools in common provide an alternative route to cater to learning needs of their out-of school children, youth and adults. The Open Schools in India offer primary, secondary, senior secondary and tertiary education through ODL. In addition, there are vocational courses to offer learners opportunities to enter the ‘world of work' on self-employment basis.
In this context, we believe that Open School System is a new path to cater to educational needs of everyone irrespective of any difference. In other words, parallel to the formal education system, which incorporates primary, secondary and tertiary levels, there should be an Open System which incorporates all other non-formal programmes. Therefore, the National Institute of Education has taken initial step to introduce Open School to the system with the purpose of expanding educational opportunities to achieve the set targets of the practices of Education for All. The proposed Open School will provide multiple channel to those who have failed to obtain a recognized basic credential, which is crucial in furthering their tertiary education. This will also enable them in finding jobs, and /or further their professional know-how, if the benefactors are already employed.