Literacy in Sri Lanka

The Politics of Sri Lankan Happiness

How did Sri Lanka sustain the highest literacy rate in south Asia despite a 30 year war and increasing education budget cuts? Does having the highest literacy rate necessarily mean having the most effective education system?




Despite an economy tormented by many civil conflict driven insurgencies in the past century Sri Lanka’s population has sustained a literacy rate of 96 per cent, higher than that expected for a developing country; it has the highest literacy rate in South Asia and, overall, one of the highest literacy rates in Asia. Primary, secondary and tertiary education are primarily funded and overseen by three governmental ministries. Over the past three decades, public spending on education in Sri Lanka, as a percentage of GDP, has rapidly declined.  For the  past  couple  of  decades  College academics have been disputing against  the education budget cuts, the lack of autonomy in the decision-making process, the…

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