Darshatha Gamage - Sri Lanka

We live in a world which changes every second. The stock markets surge up and down as we are speaking. The political forces are creating vibes, tens and thousands of people are migrating around the world, technologies are advancing and so many other things are changing around the world. Our world has become dynamic in almost every possible manner.

It is in this context that I will take you back to my homeland. In the middle of the Indian Ocean there lies a beautiful island known to many of you as Sri Lanka. It is known for its pristine beaches and cascading waterfalls, but also for the welcoming souls of our nation. The sincerity of our people has always been amazing, but life has not been easy for the simple and humble Sri Lankans. The three decades of civil war that terrorised the nation, ended back in 2009, but the memories and the notions still lie among us. The nation’s economy has not been the strongest and has struggled to facilitate the requirements of our people but in the post war era it has shown much promise.

So why did I tell you about my country, about Sri Lanka. It is because, on this foundation, this is the foundation upon which my proposal, my solution comes to you. It is also important because Sri Lanka represents an ideal model for the challenges of the developing world and the focus of my proposal is to bridge the differentiations in infrastructure, physical and intellectual, in order to create decent work opportunities to all and to drive economic growth leading to the reduction of forms of trafficking and slavery. The gap that I refer to is the high unemployment rates, not only in Sri Lanka, but also all around the world and on the other hand the difficulty faced by different stakeholders to identify the right talent.

In my personal experiences I have identified that it is not in the lack of talent or skills, but rather the lack of right talent and skills at the right time. The gap is created in the limited infrastructure and sharing of knowledge resources. As I said before, we live in a dynamic world and everything around us changes faster than ever before. But has our education system evolved with the changes? Do our learnings adapt to the progress made in the outside world? How relevant will the material of today be in one month, let alone two or three years. So what is the solution for that?

Hence, I present to you the concept of dynamic education and its adaptation towards a sustainable world. The term “education” simply is the systematic process of giving and receiving instructions at an established institution. The term “dynamic” means constantly active and changing.

Ladies and gentlemen, dynamic education is a systematic learning and teaching ecosystem, which consistently adapts to the changes in the outside world and absorb the fluctuations of the focus areas and consistently improves the learning processes. It is a process which will enhance the quality of education, not just of books, but of life altogether, resulting in better work opportunities and it will drive sustainable economic growth. There may be multiple ways to achieve dynamic education and I will present you one such process.

It is a two-way platform, so the first is a virtual platform, a digital web-based forum that facilitates constructive discussion, knowledge sharing and continuous value addition to the participants. This forum will be specified over the fields of study and geographical location and the participants are free to engage on their requirements. Then, the physical platform will be initiated at a national level, while depending on the requirement and the interests in engagements this can flow into even smaller regional bodies. These platforms will facilitate discussion based on identified themes during particular sessions or series of sessions.

Each of these platforms will be concerned in achieving the following actions through engagement. First, institutions identify the industrial requirements, identify the gaps between education system, identify emerging trends, discovering new opportunities, sharing knowledge and expertise and facilitating mentorship and investment while, I believe, through these actions we shall look forward for the following outcomes. Adaptation of outcomes in the teaching material, adaptation of learning and understanding research requirements and sharing resources and also venture capital investment.

These platforms will fill the infrastructure gap between the developed and the developing nations because dynamic education is about up-to-date comprehensive learning and teaching, where no one is left behind. Students will be aware of the surrounding environments, the educators will be aware of the latest discoveries and trends and third parties will contribute to facilitate meaningful discussion. The objective of this initiative is to enhance the quality of the education process and lead towards building a dynamic knowledge economy. These platforms will enable students to understand the parameters of their learning, teachers on the social economic requirements, investors on the opportunities out there and so on.

I believe that dynamic education, driven through technologically-oriented, integrated, locally focused, inclusive and universal platforms that the human civilisation will be able to achieve near full productivity.

I quote John F. Kennedy “The goal of education is advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” In order to achieve complete, unbiased and up-to-date learning experiences our education requires to be dynamic. Thank you. 

Related

Youth and the Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities

Casina Pio IV Youth Symposium 30-31 October 2016 - Youth are at the epicenter of the United... Read more