Browsing by Author "Gunawardena, Chandra"
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- ItemOpen AccessEnsuring Education for All: Non-schooling, Early Drop Out and High Absenteeism in Sri Lanka(2006-10) Gunawardena, ChandraPCF4 // The paper presents the findings of a study on the incidence of non-school going in households and the factors leading to non-schooling or early school leaving. // There were more children in school than out of school with little gender difference. More than forty % of the out of school children had dropped out early. More girls than boys had never been to school and more boys than girls were dropouts. More out of school children were in 10-14 age group. The percentage of out of school children was higher among Tamil children. Almost 10 % had been absent through the two weeks of the survey and 44.5% had been absent for more than 5 of the 10 school days. // The major factors of non-schooling, dropout and high absenteeism were (1) socio-economic (poverty, indifference of parents, unstable family environments), (2) school related (refusal to admit poor children, or those without birth certificates, lack of facilities for children with disabilities, harsh punishments) and (3) personal (chronic ill-health, disability, and learning difficulties). The findings indicated that multi-pronged strategies are necessary to ensure to all children the right to education. // Paper ID 194
- ItemOpen AccessGender Equity in Commonwealth Higher Education: Emerging Themes in Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda(2004-07) Gunawardena, Chandra; Kwesiga, Joy; Lihamba, Amandina; Morley, Louise; Odejide, Abiola; Shackleton, Lesley; Sorhaindo, AnnikPCF3 // This paper is based on interim findings from a research project on gender equity in higher education in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. The project, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and co-ordinated by the Centre for Higher Education Studies at the University of London Institute of Education, is investigating interventions for change in relation to access, curriculum transformation and staff development. It is also searching and analysing published and unpublished literature from low-income Commonwealth countries on gender equity. // Themes are emerging in the research. These include the international policy drivers for gender equity, representation of women in senior academic and management posts; access as a redistributive measure, gender violence, organisational culture, micropolitics and the gendered division of labour in academia. There are concerns about the current distribution patterns of women in universities as students, academics and managers and the qualitative experiences of women in Commonwealth universities. // The research project offers the opportunity to gain comparative insights across the Commonwealth. It aims to contribute to multilateral dissemination and scholarship in an area that has not been traditionally researched.
- ItemOpen AccessMATE (I) Story(2008-09) Karunanayaka, Shironica; Gunawardena, ChandraPCF5 Sub-theme: Livelihoods // Most countries give priority to teacher education, yet professional development of teacher educators who develop teachers is left as a responsibility of teacher educators themselves. It is rarely that teacher educators get the opportunity to update their knowledge or to acquire needed skills to perform effectively as teacher educators. In Sri Lanka, teacher educators have access mainly to research degree programs. To address this unmet demand, in 2000, the Department of Education of the Faculty of Education, Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) launched a professional development program, the Master of Arts in Teacher Education (MATE) program, especially designed for teacher educators in the country. // Paper ID 791
- ItemOpen AccessOnline Learning for Extending Access and Facilitating Employability in Sri Lanka(2008-09) Gunawardena, ChandraPCF5 Sub-theme: Livelihoods // The Sri Lankan University system which operates under the Universities Act of 1978 consists of the following institutional framework: // • 15 National Universities, // • One School (the School of Computing, the University of Colombo) a number of Institutes, // several Postgraduate Institutes and Centres (e.g. Staff Development Centre, University of Colombo) attached to the universities.// • The University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex body that allocates funds to the universities, determines admission criteria, and supervises and monitors the overall working of the university system. // The National Education Commission, established under the provisions of the National Education Commission Act No.19 of 1991 has the primary responsibility of making recommendations to the President of Sri Lanka on educational policy, including higher education. Until recently university education continued to be a government monopoly in Sri Lanka. All state universities are government funded, and except the Open University of Sri Lanka, depend on government grants for about 95 % of their expenditure. While most post-graduate courses are fee-levying, all undergraduate courses are provided free of charge. Students are also heavily subsidized through scholarships and bursaries, and hostel facilities are provided at a nominal charge. // Sri Lanka’s Human Development Index (HDI) was 0.743 and the Gender Development Index (GDI) was 0.735 in 2007/08 (UNDP, 2007/08). The corresponding HDI and GDI ranks are 99 and 88. While progressive policies implemented in education helped to expand facilities in general education and to benefit both sexes, the percentage of the age group (20-24 years) entering university education increased negligibly. Thus in 2006, 58.21% of the students who sat for GCE (A.L) Examination were eligible for admission but only 13.97% of them could gain admission (UGC, 2006). // Paper ID 704
- ItemOpen AccessOpen University’s Contribution to Improving the Quality of Primary and Secondary Schooling in Sri Lanka(1999-03) Gunawardena, Chandra; Fernando, T SPCF1 // Working paper presented by Chandra Gunawardena and T S Fernando at the First Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF1) in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. //
- ItemOpen AccessPartnership and Collaboration in Research: Towards Achieving Gender Equity in Higher Education(2006-10) Gunawardena, ChandraPCF4 // The project on Gender Equity in Commonwealth Higher Education was initiated by the Institute of Education, University of London, conducted from April, 2003 to December, 2005 and funded by the Department of International Development and the Carnegie Foundation. The Project Coordinator was Professor Louise Morley and senior university academics from Nigeria. South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda participated with assistance from other researchers. The project examined gender equity interventions in access, curriculum and staff development. It targeted two Millennium Goals: Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Partnerships between rich and poor countries. // The paper describes how regular communication, meetings in respective countries, adaptation of research instruments to suit country contexts, common scheduling of activities and guidance and monitoring by the Project Coordinating Team enabled research partners to (1) make a significant contribution to knowledge on gender equity in higher education, (2) enhance research capacity of junior researchers, (3) disseminate study findings, (4) raise awareness and initiate follow-up action on gender issues in higher education among policy makers and authorities and (5) to promote multicultural understanding and the impact of cultures on gender equity in higher education. // Paper ID 78
- ItemOpen AccessPreparing Skilled and Committed Youth Workers for Development Work through Open Distance Learning(2002-07) Gunawardena, ChandraPCF2 // The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) is one of the partner institutions which collaborate in the delivery of the Diploma in Youth in Development Work under the initiative of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Commonwealth Youth Programme(CYP). The Programme has been developed to prepare skilled and committed youth workers who will be in the forefront of development work in their respective countries. The development of the Programme itself was a team effort by academics drawn from a cross-cultural background, who used data, research material and case studies from representative Commonwealth countries. // While the Programme had specified objectives and recommended procedures for delivery, the diversity of cultures in which it was conducted understandably has led to variations in the implementation of the Programme. This paper discusses the challenges posed by implementing the Programme as it was stipulated by the Programme developers, the strategies used by the University to cope with these challenges and the level of effectiveness of these strategies.//
- ItemOpen AccessQuality Issues in Secondary School Education in Sri Lanka(2010-11) Gunawardena, ChandraThe National Education Commission (NEC), Sri Lanka in 1997 included compulsory education regulations for the 5–14 age group and proposals for the establishment of a well-equipped quality school in each of the 324 local administrative divisions to ensure an equitable distribution of educational opportunities. The Commission’s Proposals in 2003 also had as its priority, equity in the provision of quality education. Even though new types of schools have been established under different names and efforts made to improve teacher development, school infrastructure and develop a relevant curriculum, the goal of ‘excellence’ appears to be still elusive. // Among the quality issues highlighted consistently are shortcomings in curriculum and teachinglearning, which lead to examination domination, rote learning, and children being ill-equipped to face demands of life and the world of work or the opportunity to develop creativity. // The National Institute of Education in 2007 introduced a competency-based curriculum at junior secondary education level to improve the quality of education especially to cater to societal demands for a well-rounded education.The paper will present the findings of an evaluation to identify strengths of the reformed curriculum and perceived deficiencies in identification of levels of competencies, and thereby, deficiencies persisting in curriculum development.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Role of ODL in Teacher Education(2011) Gunawardena, Chandra; IbnJunai, MdProf. Chandra Gunawardena, Distance Education Partnership Programme, Distance Education Modernization Project in conversation with Prof. Md IbnJunaid at the Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF6), Kochi, India, November 2010. Ten video conversations conducted by CEMCA at the Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum. (Duration: 14:14)
- ItemOpen AccessWomen’s Participation in Online Learning in Sri Lanka(2008) Gunawardena, Chandra; Karunanayake, ShironicaIn Sri Lanka, women’s representation in total undergraduate enrolment increased from 47.7 % in 1978 to 54.4 % in 2006. However, women’s representation varies in different disciplines of study. In 2005/06 the percentage of women varied from 69.3 in Arts to .27.9 in Computer Science and Information Technology and to.20.4 in Engineering. Traditional stereotypes regarding fields suitable for women continue in spite of the pronounced interest of women in higher education.// Distance Education Modernization Project (DEMP) attempts to extend higher education opportunities to those who are denied university education through online programmes for the first time in the country. The opportunity to follow these on a flexi-schedule while working as well as the possibility to use a network of Access Centres spread-island wide would be extra motivating factors.// The study discusses the extent to which women have benefited in terms of enrollment and in active participation as Online students in two courses being offered currently. // Paper ID 336