ERIC Number: EJ1056622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
Developing Government Policies for Distance Education: Lessons Learnt from Two Sri Lankan Case Studies
Liyanagunawardena, Tharindu Rekha; Adams, Andrew A.; Rassool, Naz; Williams, Shirley A.
International Review of Education, v60 n6 p821-839 Dec 2014
Education, especially higher education, is considered vital for maintaining national and individual competitiveness in the global knowledge economy. Following the introduction of its "Free Education Policy" as early as 1947, Sri Lanka is now the best performer in basic education in the South Asian region, with a remarkable record in terms of high literacy rates and the achievement of universal primary education. However, access to tertiary education is a bottleneck, due to an acute shortage of university places. In an attempt to address this problem, the government of Sri Lanka has invested heavily in information and communications technologies (ICTs) for distance education. Although this has resulted in some improvement, the authors of this article identify several barriers which are still impeding successful participation for the majority of Sri Lankans wanting to study at tertiary level. These impediments include the lack of infrastructure/resources, low English language proficiency, weak digital literacy, poor quality of materials and insufficient provision of student support. In the hope that future implementations of ICT-enabled education programmes can avoid repeating the mistakes identified by their research in this Sri Lankan case, the authors conclude their paper with a list of suggested policy options.
Descriptors: Educational Policy, Distance Education, Foreign Countries, Technological Literacy, Language Proficiency, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Literacy, Access to Education, Higher Education, Information Technology, Barriers, Program Implementation, Instructional Materials, Academic Support Services, Educational Quality
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sri Lanka