Thursday, August 21, 2008


Children of our future

30 years of WAR. Guerilla forces recruiting innocent child soldiers. Over 100,000 dead and more than a million displace. Millions of landmines ~ Hundreds of refugee camps. Schools closed. A generation traumatized. A future lost.

Sri Lanka was once a Paradise Island ~ Where are we heading?
Due to these unfortunate conlict situation children tend to suffer the most.
They are compelled to live in sheer poverty and their educational opportunities are snatched from their hands.
What ails the country`s education system.

The biggest problem that the education sector is faced with is the absence of proper management", said the Minister for Education at the provincial education officials in Kandy recently. The time has come for us to help those underprivileged rural kids to become leaders so that they will seek answers when they reach to the top. That’s what LEARN AND LEAD is all about.
The Learn and Lead a programme initiated by the Business for Peace Alliance, will provide rural kids with scholarships to study in leading private schools in Colombo and other major cities. BPA is one of the most trusted organizations among the business communitiy in Sri Lanka and the bridge between the regional chambers of commerce. We not only connect regional chambers but also provide space to share knowledge through series of carefully planned workshops - seminars - panel discussions ect. With the launching of this new programme we at BPA step into a whole new era with kids.

The programme is still evolving.
We need your ideas.
We need your financial support and your helping hand.
So please feel free to get connected with us.
Feel free to pen your ideas.
Thank you for what you have done for the kids.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Selection of 50 deserving best students:
Based on merit alone (on weightage system), the attempt here is to select 50 students from all parts of the country. The most relevant districts identified for the purpose are districts of Jaffna (all Tamil students), Mannar (T), Vavuniya (Tamil and Muslim students), Trincomalee (Sinhala/ Tamil/ Muslims students), Ampara (M/T students), Batticaloa (T/M students). The Conflict Affected Districts include Anuradapura (S), Pollonnaruwa (S), Puttalam (M/S), Badulla (T/S) and Moneragala. They may choose to follow studies in any stream (Bio science, Physical science, Commerce or Languages stream). There will be an application procedure and mechanism in place to ensure the selection of students is transparent and professional.

Selection criteria will be pre-planned with proactive relevant district participation, with basic ground rules set for selections by the working group. The selection panel will be appointed comprising the District Secretary, Education Dept., regional Chambers, local NGO representatives and the local government authority. The award will be foremost based on merit (on a weightage system). Merits will be rewarded subject to the criteria against which the weightage system will be functional in a district-specific system in each district. Gender balance will be strictly followed in selections. The rest of the criteria will be developed with some brainstorming that will allow a hierarchy of priorities as per the district needs as follows, (the order of which may change district to district)

a). Education standards in the district

b). Families’ income levels

c) Conflict affected (loss of both or single parent, displaced) etc.

Indicators and a marking scheme will be established to collect points on criteria for selections. The relevant local governing body could be contacted for the lists of best results. A wide publicity to apply should complement this to avoid any suspicions that someone might withhold information. The Regional Business Chambers at the local level, the grassroots leaders (NGOs and CBOs), DS, GS, local District Chambers leaders etc are well placed to be on the selection panel and they have the advantage of contact with the local context. Support systems for students to fill out applications too are a requirement that will be looked into in the process.

No comments: