Sri Lanka’s myth of free education and its quality

May 03, 2010 (LBO) – After the release of the results of every major public examination, a spontaneous debate takes place in the country regarding the deteriorating quality of the students sitting for the examinations. The first type of the survey is conducted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and according to its survey in 1996/97, the nation as a whole has spent an estimated sum of Rs 10 billion on education as private expenditure when the tax payers spent some Rs 18 billion. So, the private expenditure in the form of out of the pocket spending amounts to some 35 percent of the total expenditure on education.

The Household Income and Expenditure Surveys are conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics. According to the Survey in 2006/07, the total out of the pocket spending on education by individuals is estimated to be at Rs 38 billion when the tax payers had spent Rs 72 billion for same. This level of private out of the pocket spending amounts roughly to 35 percent of the total national expenditure on education. Hence, education in Sri Lanka is an enterprise of which the burden is shared by tax payers collectively and individuals privately. The concern for deteriorating educational quality delivered by the