16 schools already opened, rest to be upgraded within three years Twenty schools to be developed as tri-lingual schools
The Government will allocate Rs five billion for the national school programme in which nearly 1000 schools will be upgraded, a Senior Education Ministry official said. Of the allocation, Rs three billion will be made available to Cabinet ministers and Government members of Parliament to be used on upgrading schools to national level. The remaining Rs two billion will be handled by the Education Ministry.
The programme to upgrade schools to become national schools has already begun with 16 national schools already declared open. The rest of the schools will be developed within the next three years. Under the programme 20 schools will be developed as tri-lingual schools. More than 100 schools will be upgraded in divisional secretary areas which do not have a single national school, while more than 700 schools will cover all other divisional secretary areas.
The Education Ministry has drawn out the objectives of the programme under which they state all divisional secretary areas will have national schools, providing equal opportunities at primary and secondary level, developing schools without considering socio-economic status and developing school networks, the official said. Maximum benefits of the resources will be made available in these schools and more opportunities will be provided for sports and extra-curricular activities.
The official also said a scientific system had been followed in the selection of the schools to be upgraded as national schools. Among the criteria followed was student flow, feasibility of expansion of infrastructure facilities, A/L student flow, possibility of trilingualism, socio-economic factors, number of schools in each network and size of the core-school in the network.