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Education System

Private Education System

      International Schools

          International Schools were established with the approval of the FIAC/BOI beginning from the 1980s. They are officially regarded as business ventures and are registered with the Registrar of Companies under the Companies Act No. 17 of 1982. These schools invariably impart education  in the English medium and mainly follow the British curriculum in preparing students for the London O/L and A/L, GCSE and IGCSE  examinations.

          GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. The London Examinations IGCSE is a new qualification that embraces the best practice of O level and GCSE. It also provides students with an international perspective to their studies, and IGCSEs is the most up-to-date qualifications.

          IGCSEs examinations are 100% externally assessed. This allows schools to offer a GCSE qualification, even if teachers are not coursework specialists. Most  IGCSEs contain a coursework option so that centres with the experience and expertise can offer coursework.

          Many IGCSEs have a distinct international element and educational specialists have developed subject content to allow teachers to base their work on their own region, where possible, to make it more relevant to their students.

          IGCSEs, like O levels and GCSEs, have exams that are normally taken at the end of two years’ study, with the coursework (where taken) submitted in the second year.

          London Examinations IGCSEs are graded in the same way as our GCSEs. Foundation tier papers are targeted at grades C-G and Higher tier papers are targeted at grades A*-D. This allows students of all abilities the opportunity to gain good results.

          IGCSEs are examined at the same standard as O levels and GCSEs, and provide the same progression to GCE AS and A level qualifications. O levels and GCSEs will continue to be available.

          If you would like to receive a copy of the specifications, support materials and subject overviews, go to,

          Your current IGCSE specification is valid until the end of 2008. Please continue to use your current specification, even though the date on the cover may not say 2008.

          If you are unsure about whether you have the most up to date issue of the specification, you can check on the  web site (, where you will find the latest issue of the specifications.

          We provide information on International schools as there are many such schools in  towns across the country which are becoming popular. It is also important to note that students learn in the English medium and their career is much faster as they prepare for undergraduate courses through these schools or other institutes in overseas universities. Some students enroll in foreign universities ( Universities in UK, Australia, Malaysia, USA and Singapore are popular among Sri Lankan Students) soon after their results are released.  Those who are not admitted to the universities, and those who have passed GCE ordinary level exam too follow courses leading to foreign degrees through these institutions.

          QCA is a non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). It is governed by a board, whose members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, and managed on a day-to-day basis by an executive team.

        British Curriculum

        The Primary Years (Y1 – Y6)

          There are three ‘core’ subjects in the National Curriculum – English, Maths and Science. Maths & English are tested at Key Stage 1, Science being added at Key Stage 2 at the end of the Primary cycle. In addition children are taught History, Geography, Technology, Art, Music and Physical Education.

        Secondary Education (Y7 – Y13) Years 7 – 9

          Children continue to be taught the same subjects as in the Primary years, with the addition of at least one foreign language. In many countries this is normally French, while in international schools the host country language will almost always be taught. Science may be taught as an integrated subject or as three subjects (Chemistry, Physics, Biology) depending upon the school’s policy.

        Years 10 – 11

          This is a two-year cycle in which students prepare for the GCSE examinations. These are important for university entrance as well as for employment. Success in at least 5 subjects is usually required for eventual entrance to a British university and also for universities in other countries, since the British system is recognised in most countries throughout the world. The level of achievement in GCSE is the normal indicator of a student’s capacity to study at A Level. Many international schools take IGCSE (International GCSE) rather than the normal British GCSE.

          At this stage students will normally study up to 9 subjects, although in international schools the number of subjects taken may depend, student’s ability. The results of these examinations are graded, from A-G. The ‘pass grades’, acceptable to universities and employers, are A*, A, B and C.

        Years 12-13

          Following successful results at the (I)GCSE examinations students wishing to go on to university or other institutions of higher education will take A Levels. Students will normally study 3 subjects for A Level, though they may study for a fourth A Level, or perhaps an additional subsidiary level course (known as AS). The choice of subjects depends upon a student’s likely course at university, and likely future career. For example, a student wishing to study Engineering, will have to study Physics and Maths and one other subject; for Medicine, Chemistry is obligatory, normally with two other subjects out of Biology, Maths and Physics. A number of other courses, however, have wide flexibility in subject choices – for example, Law, Economics, Business Studies.

          Pass grades at A Level are A, B, C, D and E. Fail grades are N and U. The level of pass grades required will depend upon the demand for places at different faculties and universities. The most difficult universities to enter are normally Oxford and Cambridge, while the most difficult faculties will usually be Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry and Law. Because of the effect of supply and demand, some students may well fail to gain entrance with pass grades in 3 subjects of B, C and C, while others applying for lower demand subjects will easily be accepted with such grades.

          International students transferring at a late stage to a British school (for example at the A Level stage, but not having taken the GCSE exams) should not be too concerned. British universities are flexible in their demands, especially with international students, and will offer places on the school’s recommendation and likely results in their A Level.

          The above description is by no means comprehensive in detail, but is intended to be a basic guide to the British educational system for those not familiar with it. However, parents seeking a place at an International school for their children will understand the essential structure from the description given above. They will always be able to find out more details from the schools which they visit, or which their children are currently attending.

      National Curriculum in English Medium

          There are private schools those who conduct national curriculum in english medium, such schools are listed under private schools section. There are also few national schools have started english medium classes.

      Higher Education

          Those who are not admitted to the universities, and those who have studied up to the GCE advanced level or GCE ordinary level exam, can either study at the Open University or at private institutes. Those who pass A/L exam with three subjects can also pursue higher  education as external students in Public Universities or at the Open University of Sri Lanka. The Open University of Sri Lanka was established in the early 1980’s with the idea of conferring degrees and diplomas to the working population who can do part-time studies by paying tuition fees.

          There are many other private institutes to provide higher education  for those who are not admitted to universities.There are foundation courses  for those who have passed O/L   to study further up to diploma level or degree level.  Degrees are awarded by foreign universities.

      Following successful results at the A/L examinations those who wish to study in  foreign universities can proceed with the path which  schools offer, or they can study at any other higher  educational institute locally  or  abroad.  Some institutes facilitate students to study one or two years locally and the following years at their overseas university.

 How to Choose Your Career Path Wisely

          It is obvious that if you do not determine your career goals and interests correctly, you will waste your time and money on a degree that doesn’t match your desired career path.

There are two important factors to consider;

A.   If you’re just starting out, you can pursue one of your interests.

B.     If you’ve already entered the work force, you can still choose a new path or same in line with your experience. Your past training and experience may qualify you for a wide range of careers you may even not have considered before.

 Career Counselors can help you

          Career counselors using a career assessment can help you find a career matching your skills and interests,  to make your search more effective. You can also perform self-assessments using a variety of online tools.

Find In-Demand Jobs

           If job security and good pay are important to you, take a look at the Labour Market Information published by VTA or any other source.

          Your next step is selecting the degree that matches your career goals and offers the flexibility you need.         

Selecting the Right Degree

           The most important consideration is that your selection of a  degree will affect your future career opportunities and ultimate success. When making this decision, consider your current career path, future job markets, timeline and flexibility. Here are a few questions you need to answer before you select a degree:

•    Do you want to continue on your current career path?

•    Do you want to select a specific degree which matches with your desires and interests?

•    Does your current career match the future job market?

•    Do you want the quickest path to a degree?

•    Do you want a specific degree or a degree that leaves your options open?

•    What degree level do you want; associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s ?


Most degrees fall under one of the following areas of study

•    Computer Science

•    Engineering

•    Electronics

•    Healthcare or Medical

•    Business Administration

•    Social Sciences and Humanities

•    Language and Literature

•    Education

•    Psychology

          These degree areas can be narrowed to more specific areas of concentration.

          Career counselors can help you make the career choice that matches your skills and interests by giving you a career skills and interest assessment. This will help you focus on the career options that match your experience, skills and personal interests.

          Once you have made your degree choice, you will need to find a school that offers that degree and has programs that fit your needs.

        Finding the Right Institute

         Once you have chosen the degree that matches your career goals, your next step is to shop around for the institutes that offer you the best opportunity. In many cases state universities provide you the available degrees and you will be selected by your examination results.

          In the private stream, there are many factors to consider when choosing a school; these include available degree options, accreditation and the cost of tuition. The trick is to find the school that offers exactly what you need, in a way that fits your own needs. ‘Education Guide Sri Lanka’ is a good source to start your search. It enables you to search relevant institutes and gather  more information at your fingertips.

 Paying for Education

          Once you have picked your institute, the next step is to determine how to pay for it. If you do have sufficient funds, you  need to manage these funds carefully. There are banks that provide educational loans. You can find details under Supporting Services. You can try scholarships, and try for part time jobs.

Make Sure It’s the Correct Choice

        Getting a degree requires time, effort and money. These three things are as precious to everybody. Other than full time or part time courses available at institutes, there are programs available online through correspondence courses, remote site or distance-learning facilities that will get you a degree. Whichever way you obtain an educational qualification, you must make sure that the degree you receive from that particular institution is accredited. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accreditation involves non-governmental entities as well as governmental agencies.

          Accrediting agencies are private educational associations of regional or national scope that develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency’s evaluation and that meet an agency’s criteria are then accredited by that agency. In fact, in many respects, accreditation is more important than the degree itself. Without an accreditation you don’t have a degree. You have just paid for a piece of paper.

 How do you know if a school or institution is accredited

       There are a number of ways to find an institution’s accreditation status.

      You can ask from the institute: Accredited institutes will tell you if they are accredited. Moreover, they will tell you in what countries they are accredited and which educational governing bodies have accredited them. Further you can verify the same with the accreditation agencies. Read more details on accreditation in pages 15-16 under acreditation. Finally, you are going to spend time, energy and money getting your degree. To ensure that you do not waste any of them, check out the institute first. Ensure that the institute is accredited before you enroll.                                     Back to Top


      Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission

          Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission  (TVEC) is the apex statutory body in vocational education and training in Sri Lanka functioning under the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Education. Its main responsibilities are the planning, co-ordination and development of tertiary and vocational education. Its functions include preparation of policies and plans, maintenance of a national accreditation and certification system, maintenance of Labour Market Information and assistance and guidance to Tertiary and Vocational educational institutes and development of core curricula. TVEC is the regulatory body for all aspects of implementation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Sri Lanka. TVEC has outlined the key policies and operational features of the National Vocational Qualifications Systems in Sri Lanka (NVQSL).

          The NVQSL provides the opportunity for sustainable, strategic solutions for national training needs and it will easily be able to achieve international recognition for qualifications, skills and knowledge of Sri Lankan workers in an increasing competitive global environment. There are seven levels of qualifications from Level 1 to Level 7.  National Certificate for Level 1 is recognizing the acquisition of a core of entry level skills. National  Certificate for Level 2, 3 and 4 is recognizing the increasing levels of competencies. Level 4 qualification awards for full national craftsmanship.  Level 5 and 6 is a National Diploma and it recognizes the increasing levels of competencies ranging from technical level to management level. Level 7 is a Bachelors Degree or equivalent. Certification of these levels are carried out by the institutions accredited by the TVEC and they are nationally recognized.

        Accredited and Registered Training Institutes:

        The Skills Development Project

          The Skills Development Project has been set up with the main objective, to improve the quality and relevance of technical education and vocational training systems. The project is implemented under the ministry with funding assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

          National Institute of Technical Education of Sri Lanka (NITESL)

          NITESL is the lead body functioning under the Ministry of Skills Development,  Vocational and Technical Education that is mainly responsible for teacher training, curriculum development and teaching aid and material development. NITESL comes under the ministry.

          NITESL was established with the task of improving both quantitative and qualitative aspects of Technical Education and Vocational Training in Sri Lanka. Objectives of NITESL are as follows: conducting pre-service and in-service technical teacher training programmes; developing computer-based and audio-visual learning aids and instructional materials; developing curricula for the technical education and vocational training programmes; training managerial staff and non-academic staff of the tertiary and vocational education sector; conducting skills development training programmes for academic staff in technical colleges and other training organisations; providing consultancy services on request for the state and non-governmental organisations; conducting research and development activities for TVET system; developing linkages between similar institutes at national and international levels.

Services Provided by TVEC

a.        Develop and Publish Vocational Education and Training (VET) Plans for different     industry sectors.

b.        Provide Financial grants to develop training programmes based on  priorities identified in VET Plans.

c.        Co-ordinate the development of National Skills Standards and Endorse the National Skills Standards.

d.       Analyze and Publish Labour Market Information.

e.        Registration of Training Centers with acceptable performance.

f.        Accreditation of  Training Course of Quality Assurance.

g.        Operate National Vocational Qualification Framework and awards Certificates.


Higher Education

          The University Grants Commission (UGC) was established under the Universities Act. No. 16 of 1978, and is the Apex body of the University System in Sri Lanka. The functions of the UGC are to allocate funds to the universities and university institutes, serve as the central admission agency for undergraduate studies in universities, planning and monitoring of academic activities of the university system in order to maintain academic standards and implement national policies in respect of university education in Sri Lanka.

          There are 12  National Universities and 2 Institutes  under the UGC and 3 Universities under the Ministry of Education and the UGC selects students for admission to undergraduate courses in these 12 universities and 2 institutes.

          The UGC selects students for admission to undergraduate courses.In addition to admission of students with local qualifications, special provision has been made for admission of a limited number of students with foreign qualifications also to follow undergraduate courses of study leading to bachelor’s degrees.

          Courses of Study, and the Number of students that can be accommodated in Universities under each course of study, the subject combinations available in each University under different courses of study, and the minimum marks required for admission to various courses in respect of each administrative district could be varied.

          The ‘z-score’ technique is used to rank students in each stream/ discipline. This is a statistical method which brings marks of different subjects to a common and comparable standard. Once the raw marks are converted to Z-score using this technique it is possible to use either the aggregates or the averages to rank the students in each stream irrespective of the nature of subjects/ syllabi/ number of subjects.

          The Z-score method is an accepted scheme for subject - wise standardization.

          Further details can be obtained from Additional Secretary/Admissions, University Grants Commission, while handbook for students are available at the UGC.

          In recent years the students numbers ranging from 90,000 - 98,000 have obtained the minimum requirements for admission to universities, but the actual number admitted has been only about 14,000 - 15,000. The number selected as a proportion of the number that sat the Advanced Level Examination has been only about 6% and as a proportion of the number satisfying minimum requirements for admission has been around 13% - 15%.

          Hence the admission to universities is extremely competitive and the fact is that an applicant who has satisfied the minimum requirements is no guarantee that he/she will be admitted as the selection criteria is under many other pre-requisites.

          It is a common practice in many countries to reserve a few places for special categories of students such as those who have excelled in sports, arts and culture; blind and disabled; personnel of armed forces; adult candidates and foreign students. Only a very small number is admitted on special grounds specified above. The special categories of candidates who qualify for special admission to universities in Sri Lanka are:

          Applicants under this special provision are required to submit Medical Certificates acceptable to the UGC in proof of their physical disability. For the purpose of this section, physical disability shall mean a permanent physical impairment, which has affected normal life. A limited number of blind students (who sat the G.C.E (A/L) Examination using the Braille system) to courses in Arts and physically disabled students (who are medically certified as disabled) to courses in Arts, Commerce, Biological and Physical Sciences are selected. Candidates who satisfy the minimum requirements for university admission and the appropriate subject pre­requisites for the relevant course of study are considered under this special provision.

          Under this special provision, up to 0.5% of the places in each course of study has been reserved for candidates who have obtained only 1st, 2nd or 3rd places at national level and/or achievements at international levels in such fields as sports, cultural activities such as dancing, painting, music and literature, scouting and cadetting, social work and other extra curricular activities in and after 2001 but have failed to gain admission under the normal intake because of the shortfall of a few marks. Candidates should have satisfied the minimum requirements and subject pre-requisites for admission to a particular course of study specified in the Students’ Handbook. Candidates who are eligible under this scheme are required to produce documentary evidence with regard to their achievements at the interview.

          Under this special provision, up to 0.5 percent of the total number of places in Medicine, Dental Surgery and Engineering (MPR) is reserved for the personnel enlisted in the Armed Forces, Police Service and the Special Task Force serving in operational areas. Candidates who wish to apply under this provision should have satisfied the minimum requirements for admission and submit their applications to the Secretary of Defence, through the Commander of the Service concerned. UGC will make the selections based on the average Z Score of the candidates. The candidates should not send applications direct to the UGC.

          Under this special provision, up to 0.5 percent of the places available in each course of study have been allocated to Sri Lankan students who have obtained qualifications abroad and foreign students. Accordingly, candidates who have foreign qualifications equivalent to G.C.E (A/L) Examination of Sri Lanka are eligible to apply. They should apply in a special form obtainable from the UGC.

          Teachers who have passed the General Arts Qualifying (External)  Examination in or after 2000 having offered English as one of the subjects and teachers who have passed the General  Science Qualifying (External) Examination in or after 2000 with five years service and not enrolled in any Teacher Training College/ College of Education at the time of selection: and in the case of Biological Science or Physical Science, have offered for the G.C.E (A/L) Examination or for the General Science Qualifying (External) Examination such subjects as would enable them to be selected for a course available in a university are eligible to apply for universities.


The Council of Legal Education - Sri Lanka Law College

          The Council of Legal Education (CLE) was established in 1873 and the Sri Lanka Law College was established under the CLE in 1874 in order to impart a formal legal  education to those who wished to be lawyers.


1.        Admission consequent to entrance  examination

 2.        Admission of Law graduates of  Sri Lankan  and foreign Universities

3.        Admission of members of the legal profession of commonwealth countries


           Piriven Education

          The Piriven education has been in existence even during the time of Lord Buddha.  The  ‘Gira Sandeshaya’ mentions the piriven education of the Dambadeni and Kotte eras.  Ven. Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula thero  of   Vijeyaba Pirivena who knew six languages and Ven. Vidagama Mithreeya Thero  were from  Vidagama Danananda Pirivena.

          The faded piriven education was reformed during the era of Velivita Sri Saranankara Thero at Niyamakanda Vidysthanaya in Kandy.  Later this was started in Pelmadulla and in Ratmalana. Ven Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thero who learnt from Rathmalana started the Vidyodaya Pirivena in Maligakanda in 1873.  In 1875 Ven Sammaloka Thero of Rattmalana  started the Halbarawa Vidyalankara Pirivena.  Today there are 640 centres for Piriven education.

          Primary / Secondary Education

          This education system has been formalized by the piriven act (Piriven Panatha) of 1979 and the list of orders of 1980 (Piriven Niyogamalawa).  The Piriven branch of the Ministry of Education has been  appointed  for its  administration. The pirivens consist of three main categories;

1)      Primary piriven – From year one to year five. (394 institutes across the country)

2)      Maha Piriven – Secondary education – From year one to five and six to twelve. (168 institutes )

3)      Vidyayathana Piriven (45 institutes)

          Through this institute Clergy and others too can get higher education and need to qualify at least up to year five. Education for postgraduate is also studies available.


Vocational and Technical Education

          The Ministry of Vocational and Technical Education is entrusted with formulation of policies on TVET and implementation of such policies through its implementation arms TVEC, HRDC, NITE, DTET, VTA, NAITA, CITA, INGRIN Institute of Printing, NIBM, CGTTI, HRDC and CITI.

          Those who are not admitted to the Universities, and those who have studied up to the GCE A/L and O/L  exam, can either enter vocational technical training centres or be employed in private companies or in government departments as apprentices or trainees. They can also pursue higher education as external students of traditional universities or at the Open university of Sri Lanka. The Open University of Sri Lanka was established in the early 1980’s with the idea of conferring degrees and diplomas to the working population who can do part-time studies by paying tuition fees.


           National Education System

          The population of Sri Lanka is nearly 18 million. There are more or less 4.2 million children enrolled in over 9,790 public schools around the country. All public schools follw the National Curriculum. Schools are classified into five types namely;

1A, 1B          Schools with GCE (Advance Level) classes.

Type 1C        Schools with GCE (Advance Level) art and commerce classes.

Type 2           Schools with classes up to year 11 (GCE O/L)

Yype 3 (i)      Elementary schools with classes up to year 8

Type 3 (ii)      Primary schools with classes up to year 5

There were 9790 schools around the country in 2003; 1AB -606, 1C –1752, Type 1- 4267,  Type 2 - 3165

          The education system in the country is a vast structure with a teaching force of around 200,000 in these 9790 schools. The government annually spends 2.8% of GDP for education amounting to rupees 14 billion.

          There are three categories of schools in the non-state sector which follows the National Curriculam, they are namely;

1.    Private Fee Levying Schools

2.    Private Non-Fee Levying Schools

          These are schools that have chosen to remain private when the free education scheme was introduced. These schools began their activities during 1951-1960 with the approval of the Department of Education. The Ministry of Education does not provide any financial assistance to these schools so that fees are charged to cover expenses. These schools are nevertheless subject to supervision by the Education authorities. These schools follow the National Curriculum and some schools prepare students  for London O/L and A/L examinations too.

          These schools chose to remain private in 1960 when schools were being taken over by the government. The state assists these schools by paying salaries of teachers while facilities fees are charged on the same basis as in government schools. These schools are also subject to supervision by the Education authorities.

           Pre-Primary Education

          Only private individuals and institutions, local government authorities and NGOs offer pre-primary education. Pre-primary schools generally cater to children aged 3-5. Although on a non-systematic basis, about 50% of children attend pre-schools.

          Well-organized activities for early childhood development are yet evolving in the country. The most well known are the pre-schools which are primarily expected to prepare three to five year old children for schooling. There are day care centres, which look after young children, from infants to toddlers, mainly to help working mothers. All these institutions are run mainly by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. Not all pre-schools are designed or equipped to promote the growth and development of young children. They seek primarily to teach the children to write letters, count and even work out sums. This unfortunately is what the parents and even the primary schools expect as well.

           Education of Children with Special Needs

          The compulsory education regulations recognizes the right of all children to education, and needless to say this includes children with special needs. The 1997 Education Reforms drew attention to the need to provide such children a education within or outside the classroom. The reforms introduced competency and activity based learning-teaching methodology and extended continuous assessment, creating a learning environment that is more conducive to meeting the needs of such children. A special programme for teachers is being conducted by the National Institute of Education. The Ministry of Social Welfare has also developed a National Policy to the general education system.

           Primary Education

          Primary Education from grade 1-5 in junior schools lasts five years, after which the students sit a scholarship examination. Those who have passed the scholarship examination qualify themselves to be admitted to popular schools and are granted monthly financial support until they pass out from the university. During this five years in the school, the child is  attracted, settled, disciplined, focused and inducted to systematic learning through a mix of play, activity and desk work. Under the recent reforms, the curriculum is competency based rather than subject based. The basic competencies moulds a child to be competence in communication using words, numbers and pictorial forms and the competencies in the areas of Ethics and Religion, Environment, Leisure and Learning.

           Secondary Education

          Junior Secondary

          Junior Secondary stage is grade 6-9. Grade 6 is the bridging year between the primary and secondary.  The common curriculum comprises nine subjects. Those are; First Language, English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Life Skills, Religion, Aesthetics, Health and Physical Education.  A second language ( Tamil for Sinhala students and Sinhala for Tamil students) too is taught when teachers are available. It is important to notice that the teaching methodology emphasizes on learning through projects and practicals. Concept of peace education, conflict  resolution and human rights and environmental conservation are integrated to the subject content into the  Social Studies and other relevant subjects.

          Senior Secondary Education

          Senior Secondary (O/L) education lasts for two years, grade 10- 11, after which students have to sit for the G.C.E. ordinary level to qualify for Senior Secondary G.C.E. (A/L) education which lasts another two years until students are prepared for the G.C.E. Advanced level examination. There are eight core subjects ( Religion, First Language, English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Science and History, Aesthetic Studies and Technical subjects. With the above subjects, students are permitted to select three optional subjects ( Sinhala / Tamil as a second Language, History, Geography, Health and Physical Education, Literature (Sinhala/Tamil/ English) and Modern or Classical Languages).

          Senior Secondary (A/L) education lasts for two years, grade 12-13, after which students have to sit for G. C. E. (A/L) examination. This is mainly a selection exam for University admission. Studies are mainly in Bio Science stream, Physical Science stream, Arts stream and Commerce stream. Many reforms were introduced to this stage as well as to other early stages in order to find career paths  to those who fail to gain admission to Universities.

          There are four main subject streams available at the A/L examination and they are;

          1.    Arts                                               2.    Commerce

          3.    Biological Science and                    4.    Physical Science


The Ministry of Education

      The Ministry of Education sets its Mission and Vision as follows.


      Contribute to build a nation of well informed, skilled, disciplined, humane and responsible citizens.


          Development and implementation of a system of education with equity and excellence imparting knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to realize one’s potential to the maximum in order to face successfully the challenges of an uncertain future in an increasingly interdependent world while preserving national identity in a pluralistic society.

          The Education Publications Department functioned under the Commissioner of Publications , Examination Department under the Commissioner of Examinations and Colleges of Education Under the Chief Commissioner, Colleges of Education.

      National Education Commission (NEC)

          The National Education Commission (NEC), was constituted by an act of Parliament of Sri Lanka in l991. Recent reforms in primary education are based on the recommendations made by the NEC. To operationalise the recommendations a Presidential Task Force (PTF) was constituted. The PTF is headed by the Hon. Minister of Education and Higher Education. The PTF is supported by thirteen technical committees to prepare action plans for implementing reforms.

          The reform proposals at all levels of education are broadly grouped under five main areas. These are: Extending Educational Opportunity; Improvement of Quality of Education; Imparting Technical and Practical Skills through Education; Teacher Education; Management of Education and Resource Provision. The reforms in primary education discussed in this article mostly fall under the broad area of improving the quality of education.

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