The government has launched Transforming School Education Project (TSEP) to enhance access and quality of primary and secondary education to provide a foundation for the knowledge-based economic and social development of the country.
The Transforming School Education Project will be managed and implemented at the national level by the Ministry of Education and at the regional level by the Provincial Councils.
The Transforming School Education Project will support Sri Lanka’s Education Sector Development Framework and Program (ESDFP) 2012-2016. The assistance under the TSEP is aligned with the foundation and three themes of the ESDFP.
The central objective of this theme is to increase the proportion of children and youth in the age group 6-16 years completing primary education, and secondary education at least up to grade 11.
There are several strategies to achieve this objective. Demand side incentives include the appointment of school attendance committees in each local school community to promote school enrolment and attendance; and school health and nutrition programs, including meals for children from poor communities and sanitation facilities to promote attendance, especially among girls. The supply side measures include ensuring that a good quality primary school is available within easy reach of all primary school aged children, and that a good quality secondary school offering science, arts and management curriculum streams are available within reasonable travelling distance for all students.
In this context, the country’s ESDFP 2012-2016 plans to upgrade and develop about 5,000 primary schools and about 1,000 secondary schools during 2012-2016. In addition, non-formal education programs and special education programs will be available for students with special needs who require these alternative types of education.
The TSEP will pay special attention to the promotion of learning in subjects that are of central importance for the labor market, such as English, IT, science, mathematics, and commerce and management.
The TSEP will assist the government to improve the school curriculum to better reflect modern international trends in curriculum practice, effectively disseminate curriculum goals, values and aims to stakeholders, and orient the education system more strongly to the world of work. The TSEP will help the National Institute of Education (NIE) to fine tune and upgrade the primary and secondary school curricula.
The main ESDFP 2012-2016 development initiative under this theme is the establishment of a balanced control model of school based management called the Program for School Improvement (PSI). The TSEP will support the PSI. Under the PSI school officials will be joined by stakeholders in the local school community, such as parents, past pupils and well-wishers, in the management and administration of schools. The government will provide a grant to schools to improve education outcomes. This initiative will build on a successful pilot version of the PSI, which had a positive impact on the learning outcomes of primary school students. It will be expanded to the secondary level.
The TSEP will also support the country to strengthen the capacity of the education management system, particularly the provincial and sub-provincial systems at the zone and division levels. The TSEP will help build the leadership and management capacities of school principals. This is particularly important, given the additional roles that school principals will have to play, as the PSI is expanded and greater responsibility and power is devolved to schools.
The World Bank funded US $ 100 million (LKR 13.2 billion) for the project.