Creating the “work–study” culture in Sri Lanka

by Nuwanthika Dharmaratne

Posted on February 25, 2017 at 8:00 AM

In the western world, it is unusual to hear of a young person who hasn’t been involved in a job during their youth. Contrastingly in Sri Lanka, the reality is very different. Only a handful of people even consider the possibility of getting real life experience while completing their education.

However, this has also adversely effected their lives by limiting them to what their parents can provide. Young people in Sri Lanka never believe themselves to be capable of being self-sufficient until they officially start a job during their mid-twenties.

Why should it change?

The levels of theft, corruption and other forms of crime are increasing rapidly in Sri Lanka. A very critical reason to this is because people resort to any means in order to make ends meet instead of coming up with effective and straightforward solutions for their problems. A person stricken with poverty would resort to living a life of crime because they are unaware about the many possibilities that are available for their development.

Encouraging people to capture as much real world experience as possible during early stages of their youth will get them in touch with their true potential and the capacity they have to live a healthy and well-rounded life.

How can it change?

Most schools don’t entertain the idea of their students getting involved in anything but the school’s operations. There is no focus on career development during the primary and secondary stages of a child’s education in Sri Lanka. Those who are brave enough to initiate something novel are not recognized or appreciated.

Therefore, the start should take place in transforming our school infrastructure to accommodate more driven and passionate young people who are ready to take control of their life.