Leaders should possess apt vision about children’s future – President

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Leaders of the country should have a proper vision about the future and education of our children, President Maithripala Sirisena has said.

Only when the country moves forward with such a mission and a plan it will be possible to create a virtuous country empowered by academics and intellectuals, the President said addressing Sri Lanka University Games (SLUG) yesterday (26).

During last five years, the government had taken various measures to uplift the quality of the university education and facilities provided to students, the President said, adding that the annual budgetary education on higher education has been increased from Rs. 45 billion to Rs. 60 billion.

The number of students admitted to universities was only 24,198 during 2013-2014 academic years and this number has been increased to 31,158 with a growth 28% in 2017-2018, the President has said further.

As the expansion of student intake at Medical, Engineering, Technical and Science Faculties is a necessity, steps have been taken not only to increase facilities at universities by establishing new faculties at each university but also to introduce new undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the President has continued addressing the gathering.

The ‘Mahapola’ Scholarship has been increased from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 5000 and discussions have been commenced with the relevant experts to find means to uplift the quality of university education he has pointed out.

“In addition, the present government was able to boost the Per Capita Income which stood at USD 3821 by 2014 to USD 4060. A qualitative change is visible in the education sector while the enrolment at Primary Level at schools has reached its full potential and the percentage at the Secondary Level is as high as 99%,” the President has emphasized.

SLUG, conducted every three years, is considered the most important sporting event among the universities.

Conducted for several days this event will provide the opportunity for university students to engage in healthy competition in sports while inculcating the quality of sportsmanship which will be helpful for them to face defeat or victory in life in a more graceful manner, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said. The students will compete in 22 events, under 35 different categories.

The official flag of the games was handed over to the President to mark the inauguration of the event, the President’s Media Division said in its release.

Chancellor of University of Ruhuna Venerable Akuratiye Nanda Thero, Governor of the Central Province Hemal Gunasekara, Vice-Chancellor of University of Ruhuna Prof. Sujeewa Amarasena and several other Vice Chancellors and Professors, Chairman of the 13th Sri Lanka University Games Prof. Thilak P. Gamage were among the distinguished gathering.