President at launch of leadership training programme:
Global grads our aim
*Govt’s intention to upgrade higher education with new innovations
*Students must sharpen skills, especially in fields of English and
President Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that the Sri Lankan university
education system would thrive in the future by producing global
graduates who can positively contribute towards the country’s
* Three week residential course
* Three month non-residential
* English, IT and soft skills
“We have clearly stated in the Mahinda Chinthana that our intention
is to produce an educated person who could see the world beyond his own
horizon,” he said.
“Our aim is also to produce a learned citizen who has gained physical
and mental discipline coupled with positive attitudes and love for the
country,” President Rajapaksa said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the three week residential
course of developing leadership abilities and positive thinking through
the theoretical and practical training for new university entrants.
Simultaneously, a three month non-residential pre-orientation course in
English, IT and soft skills for new entrants to universities was also
Addressing over 3,000 new university entrants at Temple Trees,
President Rajapaksa noted that it was the government’s intention to
upgrade higher education with new innovations to produce viable manpower
which would be second to none.
The President impressed on the students the need to sharpen their
skills, especially in the fields of English and IT.
Speaking on the other aspects of university education in Sri Lanka,
the President said that there should be no room for violent activities
within the education system any more.
He said that such violent activities in the past had only drawn the
wrath and disgust of the people and had failed to deliver anything
positive for the student population. Commenting on ragging of new
entrants to universities, the President noted that this had taken on an
abusive nature over the years. However the President said that such
violent activities should be stopped not by oppression but by developing
correct attitudes and healthy mental and physical discipline among
students. On the same note, he said that the government had ended the
era in which parents had to guard school gates fearing for the safety of
President Rajapaksa added that the government had a responsibility to
safeguard all students and would take appropriate measures in this
Commenting on the residential course for new entrants, the President
said that attempts to portray it as military training by some were
utterly incorrect and added that the military was only providing the
space and facilities.
He also noted that the Sri Lankan security forces were the most
disciplined and patient forces in the world and told the students that
they could take a leaf out of their book when it comes to developing
He also noted that the government fully understood the potential of
the new entrants as only 23,000 gain entrance to universities from over
150,000 who face the Advanced Level examination.
He said that the government has pumped large sums of public funds to
supplement the education system and told the students that they had a
big responsibility on their shoulders to ensure that this does not go in
He told them to fully utilize the facilities at their disposal in
becoming productive citizens in the future.
Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake, Deputy Minister
Nandimithra Ekanayake, Secretary Dr Sunil Navaratne, University Grants
Commission Chairman Gamini Samaranayake and Vice Chancellor of
Kotalawela Defence University Major General Milinda Peiris also spoke.
The Tri-Forces commanders, Education officials and over 3,000 new
university entrants were present.