Education – A better start for life by Padmini Ranaweera

A better start for life

The foundations set in the first thousand days of a child’s life, from conception to the second
birthday are critical for the child’s future well-being. During the early years of a child the brain
develops to form millions of neuro connections. The early years, however, can be particularly
important not only because of the brain development, but because that same development
might facilitate and enhance subsequent growth and the productivity of subsequent
investments. It is important to understand the process of its formation of multidimensionality
of human capital, which is a very complex one. This process starts very early, probably even
before birth.

Corresponding to the global priorities in education it is becoming increasingly clear that human
development has many different dimensions that start evolving very early in life. The current
commitment of the global partners goes beyond just ensuring access, on to achieving quality in
basic education under ‘Education 2030’ which is an essential part of the global agenda for
sustainable development. Education 2030 is adopted at the World Education Forum in May
2015. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the said education goal is the ‘Education 2030
Framework for Action’ which provides guidance to the governments and developmental
partners on how to turn commitments to action.

The scope of the Global Education 2030 addresses key challenges in education. It reaches from
early childhood learning to youth and adult education and training. Also emphasizes the
acquisition of skills for work, underlines the importance of citizenship education in a plural and
interdependent world, focus on inclusion and equity and aims to ensure quality learning
outcomes for all throughout their lives.

From the time of world declaration on Education for All (1990), early childhood care and
education was recognized as the best way to assure the child’s smooth transition into primary
school. It is also known as a critical factor in the child’s subsequent transition to adulthood,
influencing both social skills and behavioral choices. Different skills of individuals play different
roles in the economy and have important implications for non‐economic outcomes as well,
such as physical and mental health, that are important for individual well‐being. There is
overwhelming evidence that socioeconomic disparities are associated with developmental
delays that emerge very early and grow dramatically during the first few years of life. Hence,
the developmental aspects of early years and its inclusion for policy are particularly relevant in
education planning in developing countries.

There are many reasons to consider early childhood as a national focus in the education policy
due to its multi-sectoral approach. The links between early childhood health, care and
education are strong and mutually reinforcing. These are often hidden or ignored by the
compartmentalized machinery of the implementation levels. Successful early childhood care
and education interventions help to build cognitive and non-cognitive skills at a time when
children’s brains develop resulting long term benefits. Therefore, a well‐designed and effective
policy needs a good understanding of the multi-sectoral mechanisms that drive for results.
In most of the developing countries governments face significant challenges in providing preprimary
education for every child and therefore the number of private sector institutions have
increased. However, there are wide variations among and between government and nongovernment
pre-primary education institutions in any context. This reiterates the need of the
stronger role of the government at policy level paying attention to the institutional
development and organizational strengthening including strategizing preparation of teachers
and care givers to address the learning needs of young children. A well-defined national
framework is required to ensure quality learning opportunities for every child to have the best
start in their lives.

By 2030, education policy need to ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early
childhood development care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary
education. This is made clear in the global sustainable goals.

Padmini Ranaweera, BSc. (OUSL), BEd. (OUSL) MSc. (University of Kelaniya)
03 08 2018

A path to become a colony of the foreigners by Chathura Viraj Wijesekara

A government which satisfies the foreigners by forgetting its own people

(A path to become a colony of the foreigners) –

Chathura Viraj Wijesekara

Undergraduate: Law Student (UOJ)

 

“The principle that those charged with upholding the Constitution – be it a Police Officer of the lowest rank or the President – are to do so in a way that does not violate the Doctrine of Public Trust’ by state action/inaction is a basic tenet of the Constitution which upholds the legitimacy of Government and the Sovereignty of the people.

By Shiranee Thilakawardane J, in Medis vs. Kumaratunga case (Water’s Edge case)

Above words had clearly spoken in the Supreme Court by giving a foremost place to the Doctrine of public trust which came into the stage at different times through different faces. It does not matter whether you are a police officer of the lowest rank or the president of the country. You have to act in a way that does not violate the trust doctrine. But in the current scenario, we have a question on implementation of the trust doctrine. Most of the resources which own by the people of Sri Lanka were used by the present government arbitrarily only to achieve their own agendas. Their agendas were never having the purpose of public benefit. But what they had in their minds were erasing the picture of the development which was drawn by the Rajapaksha regime. But what they did not understand was alienation of the Sri Lankan properties to the foreigners can not erase someone’s personality.

What does it really means from the “Doctrine of Public Trust”? It is the principle that certain natural and cultural resources are preserved for public use, and that the government owns and must protect and maintain these resources for the public’s use.

The word public is highly incorporated in the above definition. Everyone has to accept that the government is acting on behalf of the people. Government got the power from the people. The resource which enshrines the power is “people”. Article 3 of the constitution has stated crystal clear that “In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise.” So the government has no legitimate right to cut down the rights of the Sri Lankan people to use those resources. It was the power of the people. So how is it possible for a government to give/sell or do whatever they want with our own resources?

The eradication of these resources has started with giving the Hambanthota harbor to China for 99 year lease. Now the disaster has come a long way and it seems like uncontrollable. We have to ask from the government a simple question. Why we really elect a government? People elect a government for different reasons. But the common idea behind an electing a government is to protect the country’s dignity and people’s expectations by securing the country’s resources for future generations. But since 2015, we did not see any aid for the fulfillment of this purpose. The government is negligently excluding the expectations of the younger generation by selling and giving up all the Sri Lankan own properties to the foreigners.

They just gave up the Hambanthota harbor though many people oppose the move. Even the government had to use the police to control the people who oppose. Think for a moment. How legitimate for a government of a country to justify their actions by suppressing the people by using police power. It is an undemocratic way of throwing the opinion of the people away.

The same thing happened regarding the Galle cricket Stadium. At first, they tried to demolish the whole stadium. But due to the people of this country, the government failed to continue their selling agenda of Sri Lankan properties to the foreigners. By highlighting fake fears, the government is trying to sell Sri Lankan identity to the foreigners. They have planned already to give up many government own properties to the foreigners & private sector in upcoming days. ITN, a part of Katunayake airport & Mattala airport are some of them. But the most sarcastic thing is the ministers of the government planning to sell our own properties to balance the other country’s interests.

“The real issue here is the diplomatic issue. It really doesn’t matter who we give as they are investments. We are trying to balance. When we have given one to India and the other to China” – Rajitha Senarathne

The irresponsible behavior of the ministers has arisen fears of Sri Lankan people which seem like “actually we don’t own our country anymore.” The government is selling almost all heritages & properties without considering the opinion of the Sri Lankan people. The Prime Minister is acting like a tyranny while the president ignores all the opposing remarks as a dumb person.

“Since such control is exercised by Parliament in trust for the people, we are of the opinion that the process should be transparent and in the public domain, so that people who remain sovereign are informed as to the manner control is exercised”-

In the Supreme Court determination on the Appropriation Bill 2008, Chief Justice Sarath Silva,

 

It is clear with these statements that at least the process should be transparent. But we don’t have any transparency at all. The government decides and the government executes while the right to question is rejected. How many people really know the powers and the manner which the present government uses to dispose the Sri Lankan heritages to foreigners? Only the few people who walk around the PM would know the real reasons and powers.

“Public power is not for personal gain or favor, but always to be used to optimize the benefit of the people. To do otherwise would be to betray the trust reposed by the people within whom, in terms of the Constitution, the sovereignty reposes. Power exercised contrary to the Public Trust Doctrine would be an abuse of such power and in contravention of the Rule of Law.” – Ranil Wickramasinghe (2013/02/24: Sunday Times News Paper)

On another side it is humorous to see the PM talking about the public trust when he was acting as the opposition leader who is now giving up the trust of the people by selling all the properties to the foreigners.

Now the situation has turn to worst. The government easily ignores the words of the people while the president is still acting a paralyzed person’s character. Through the constitution we created a president’s role in order to protect the country by quickly preventing any harmful activity which can be done by any organ of the government. Sufficient powers have also given to the president for the above role. But unfortunately, that role was restricted just for a statue which silently watches everything: even the pigeon’s dirty works to its head.

The people become hopeless with inability to prevent government’s arbitrary nature. However the “dignity + public trust” of the Sri Lanka have faced a serious threat and the resources which own by Sri Lankans gradually decreasing its Sri Lankan own identity.

Now the time has come for a serious framework in order to rescue our heritages and properties for the future generation. We are not the people who should sacrifice our own identity to balance the countries. The government is only a trustee who looks after our heritages behalf of our selves. They don’t have any right to act contrary to that policy. It is violating the doctrine of public trust. A government should satisfy its people: not foreigners. So it’s the time to be active against selling the mother land to foreigners. If not, we might experience the bad effects which will cause up to three or four generations.

 

 

 

 

About

The Professionals for a Better Future (VIYATHMAGA) is a network of Academics, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs who love the country and wish to contribute actively towards the development of a prosperous Sri Lanka where all citizens can live in peace and harmony. VIYATHMAGA is not a political organisation. It is a civil society movement, wishing to contribute towards the betterment of the country.

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