Cluster schools to transform education system | Sunday Observer

Cluster schools to transform education system

20 August, 2023

A significant shift is under way in the country’s education sector as a committee led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe is exploring ground-breaking educational reforms. The central focus of these reforms is creating a progressive cluster school system, integrating prominent schools with smaller ones. This collaborative initiative aims to streamline education resources and foster mutual growth among institutions, Education Ministry’s Additional Secretary for School Affairs and Teacher Transfers, Neelamani Malaviarachchi told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

With this innovative model, larger schools’ distinct identity merges harmoniously with smaller schools, forging a unique collaborative learning environment, she said. A vital aspect of this shift is the exchange of teachers across these integrated schools. She said this strategy is envisioned to enrich the teaching experience, encourage cross-pollination of ideas, and ultimately enhance the overall quality of education across the cluster. Malaviarachchi said: “This will help cut down competition for admissions to popular schools, as the cluster system will provide more equitable access to quality education.”

When asked about Education Minister Susil Premajayantha’s preparedness to introduce the reforms, she said, “The Minister indeed will keep going strong with them.”

Also, moves are under way by the Education Ministry to enrich the school curriculum with Commerce, Accountancy, and Entrepreneurship-related training as subject modules. Malaviarachchi said that the core objective of these reforms is to equip students with the tools and resilience to navigate the challenges of enterprise and industry, fostering productive individuals to contribute effectively to economic progress and development. She said that in keeping with the range of reforms to be introduced, the teaching of commerce, accountancy, and Entrepreneurship-related subjects will be introduced from Grade Six. This marks a departure from the current practice of introducing these subjects at the tenth and eleventh-grade levels. The National Education Committee has endorsed these reforms. Education Ministry sources said that the committee’s findings played a pivotal role in shaping this progressive educational framework.

This adjustment holds immense potential for students. Not only can they complete these subject modules and attain commendable scores by the time they reach Grade 10, but it also opens the possibility of students sitting the GCE Ordinary Level examination one year earlier. By integrating entrepreneurial skills into the curriculum and implementing the modular system with programs to transcend the conventional confines of classrooms, the students also get immersive and practical learning experiences.