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UNESCO report recognizes Sri Lanka\'s achievements in youth development programs

19 Oct 2012 - Sri Lanka : UNESCO report recognizes Sri Lanka's achievements in youth development programs. UNESCO's 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report launched today has recognized Sri Lanka's achievements in youth skills development programs and vocational training. Coinciding with the global launch of the report at UNESCO in Paris, France, Sri Lanka's Youth Affairs Ministry launched the UNESCO's 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report in Colombo today.

"UNESCO country representative Reza Hossaini presented the report to the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma at the Ministry today.

The 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report 'Youth and Skills: Putting education to work', examines how skills development programmes can be improved to boost young people's opportunities for decent jobs and better lives.

The Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR), an annual publication that monitors progress toward a set of targets to which over 160 countries committed themselves in 2000, found a successful example of youth participation in policy-making in Sri Lanka.

According to the report, a National Youth Employment Task Force was created in Sri Lanka to develop and implement the National Action Plan on Youth Employment.

Both the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament and the Secretary General of the Junior Chamber of Sri Lanka have played a key role on the task force in managing the consultation process for the action plan. Youth of different social and ethnic backgrounds - rural, urban and conflict-affected - have contributed to the process. Following the consultations, concrete inputs and amendments based on youth feedback have been incorporated in the draft National Action Plan.

The report also chose Sri Lanka as an example of providing advantages of clearly defined standards and qualifications.

The country's national qualification framework brought clarity to highly fragmented technical and vocational education outside formal secondary education, the EFA/GMR report said.

"The design of competence standards and qualifications, accreditation of providers, development of curricula and creation of a network of guidance centres contributed to a system of provision and certification that is used by almost 20% of learners and well recognized by the labour market," it said.

About 81 percent of those with a vocational qualification based on the national framework found employment without a long wait.

According to the report one reason the framework has been successful is the establishment of fifty career guidance and counseling centers providing support to trainees. By 2008, the centers had provided information about training opportunities to nearly 40,000 young people and helped place more than 4,400 directly into jobs.

The report, which placed Sri Lanka among the lower middle income countries along with its South Asian neighbors India and Pakistan, has rated Sri Lanka as having the lowest poverty level in the region next to Maldives and the highest youth literacy rate."


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