President says he had to ‘beg’ from countries for the sake of children’s future

President says he had to ‘beg’ from countries for the sake of children’s future

February 14, 2024   01:57 pm

President Ranil Wickremesinghe says that he had to beg the other countries for help, against his will, for the sake of the children of the country and their future.

Accordingly, the Head of State acknowledged that, while no one would be willing to regress to the daunting setbacks Sri Lanka experienced during the height of its economic crisis in 2022/23, it was a time where he, as the President, had to appeal to the world so as to provide a future for the country’s children.

“During that period, we had to beg other countries for money. Despite it being against my will, I went ahead and begged, in order to give you a future”, he said.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks at the National School Textbooks Distribution Ceremony at St. Anthony’s Convent, Kollupitiya, emphasising the necessity of implementing a new education system to steer the country towards economic transformation, one that aligns with global standards and can cultivate professionals suited for the competitive world market.

He stressed the importance of reducing exam pressures and integrating English and technology subjects into the curriculum to prepare students for the workforce. Additionally, plans are underway to establish new vocational colleges and universities of technology, the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.

The distribution program extends to providing textbooks and official uniforms to student monks and nuns across 10,126 schools and 822 pirivans throughout the island. Symbolically, the President himself distributed uniforms and school books to both student monks and students.

Speaking further, the President said that he intends on building a strong economy in Sri Lanka that would not leave any room for recurrence of such events.

“I am working towards building a strong economy, so that such things will not happen again, in your future. So that you won’t have to go finding fuel, or lose your jobs when you’re older”, President Wickremesinghe said in this regard.

Expressing his ideas further, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said,

“I live near five schools, namely my school Royal College, Thurston College, Ladies’ College, Mahanama College, and St. Anthony’s Girls’ College. This background has instilled in me a deep concern for education. During President J.R. Jayawardena’s tenure, we prioritized the development of these educational institutions.

In 2022, the country faced a severe economic crisis that impacted every sector, including education. The inability to provide school textbooks and uniforms was a stark reality. Amidst the crisis, with no leader stepping forward, I embraced the challenge to initiate economic recovery programs.

Through concerted efforts, the country has now achieved some economic stability. Consequently, timely provision of school uniforms and textbooks became feasible, with over Rs. 14 billion allocated for this purpose.

I firmly advocate for education reforms and the creation of a new educational paradigm in our country. Our focus should be on nurturing professionals who can thrive in the global arena. 

To drive economic transformation, our education system must align with international standards, equipping students to compete effectively. By alleviating exam pressures and incorporating English and technology subjects, we aim to groom a workforce ready for the demands of the modern world. Plans are also underway to establish vocational colleges and technical universities to further this objective.

None of us wish to regress to the dire state our country was in 2022, marked by long queues for gas, fuel, and food. Our collective aspiration is for a society free from such hardships. We are steadfastly committed to building a resilient economy, ensuring we never experience such turbulent times. The program to fortify Sri Lanka’s economy is currently underway, driven by our unwavering determination.”

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