Small Step

Nov 28, 2008 (LBO) – The Asian Development Bank is helping upgrade Sri Lanka’s troubled tertiary and secondary education system with an 80 million dollar funding package, the regional lender said Wednesday. Sri Lanka’s universities have been churning out graduate misfits by the thousands who are agitating for free jobs in government as they do not have the skills needed to fit into an increasingly service oriented economy.

Over the last three years about 100,000 persons have been were absorbed into the already bloated state service.

The government has promised to create another 15,000 jobs in budget presented earlier this month.

State salaries and pensions are now absorbing more than 50 percent of annual tax revenues.

ADB says the limited public funds has prevented the expansion and modernization of tertiary education.

The country™s expenditure on education accounted for just 3 percent of its gross domestic product and about 9 percent of total government spending in 2007.

The education system needs to adjust to the changing needs of the modern economy,” Ayako Inagaki, senior education specialist of ADB™s South Asia Department said in a statement.

“The school s