Presidential Secretariat, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, launched the Multi-Sector Action Plan today (Oct. 16) to transform all primary schools into Child Friendly Schools (CFS) by 2016.
The innovative plan involved, for the very first time, a collaborative effort of nine different Ministries to address bottlenecks in quality primary education for all children in the country.
The multi sector plan involves solutions to long-standing challenges in education, ranging from; strengthening of school transportation systems through the Ministry of Transport; teacher awareness campaigns against corporal punishment in schools involving the Police; introduction of school gardens as part of a more activity based curriculum through the Ministry of Agriculture; and regular medical examinations and health promotion initiatives through the Ministry of Health.
At today’s event, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga affirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to ensuring that every child is afforded the opportunity to a quality learning experience.
Speaking at the launch conference held at BMICH, the Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena was thankful to all other sectors for joining hands with the Ministry of Education in helping to create a positive environment for better learning for all children in the country.
The plan also includes a number of financial and special support schemes by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Social Services to boost school attendance for children for low income families.
“UNICEF is very pleased that the Government of Sri Lanka is mainstreaming the Child Friendly Approach, making it an integral part of the National Framework for Education. This should address gaps and focuses on the right to quality education for every primary aged child” said UNICEF’s Representative in Sri Lanka Ms. Una McCauley.