School News

Vocational education and training programme to reduce school dropouts

Friday, 28th of October 2022

Pilot project in Colombo schools next month, and other schools thereafter

The Education Ministry will soon introduce a pilot project in Colombo city to attract students to vocational training and stop them from dropping out of school, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said recently. He said students around 14 years and above will be targeted and vocational training programmes will be introduced under a cluster system where students will be collected from various schools and brought under one school. Students who are interested in vocational training and students who may drop out of school will be targeted under the progrmme.

The Minister also said they expect to target 145 schools with around 185,000 students, and the programme will mainly cover schools with students from low income families. Minister Premajayantha said the programme has been introduced after recent studies showed there were students dropping out of school early or their attendance was low. “We want to ensure they continue their education and we are trying to introduce them to vocational training so at the end of their schooling they will be able to engage in some kind of employment,” he added. He said the support of the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) and Vocational Training Authority (VTA) will be sought to carry out the training.

The two institutions have expressed willingness to undertake the training of the students through a variety of courses, the Minister said. To ensure that the students follow vocational training after their usual classes, arrangements will be made to provide a free meal for the students. The training will last for two hours after school hours and will take place for one or two years. The courses will be introduced from next month onwards and will gradually spread throughout the Western province and other provinces in the country. Meanwhile, the Education Ministry is also launching a programme to prevent students from being attracted to narcotics. Teachers will be assigned as counsellors to schools and they will be in charge of the programmes to prevent narcotics from reaching schools, identify students caught up in drugs, direct them to counselling and more.

-DWI

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