Days before entering university and as I sit in front of my computer, I am thankful for free education. It is perhaps the single most reason that Sri Lanka has managed to stay float.. albeit not very successfully but still we are buoyant.
The problems in our country as far as macro economic planning etc. is concerned has not been the failure of the education system. Yes as far as employability and the tech "savvy"ness of our graduates goes there is plenty to find fault with, but we have covered the basics at least they have been given three or four years of higher education which would serve them in good stead in the future.
I have often heard and seen in the blogosphere and in society itself certain people being critical of free eduction. Why should we pay for some one else's education? I went to a private school I don't reap the benefits of free education etc.
( A Sri Lankan university; not cutting edge but it does the best it can.)
These myopic assumptions influenced by extreme right wing conservative politics do not portray a holistic picture of the benefits of the Sri Lankan education system. If you go to a supermarket the girl at the cash register learnt math because of free education, if you go to a police station the policemen were educated because of free education, doctors and nurses in hospitals judges and magistrates in our courts were all educated because of free education.
The wheels of industry and commerce keep turning because of our free education, though many capitalist businessmen are quick to argue towards the contrary their businesses and industries are well oiled with man power sourced from the Sri Lankan educational system.
Today we live in an era where the largest earner of foreign exchange in the country is foreign remittances, all the Sri Lankan manpower employed abroad are products of free education.
The objective of my post is to point out that free education has far more far reaching consequences and benefits that what just meets the eye.
We have excellent social welfare and health facilities that have steadily improved over time and is perhaps the only aspect of Sri Lankan life that we can be proud of. Though I am not entirely opposed to the idea of private education, I feel it is pertinent to protect and nourish free education as it is one of the few policies that has served our country well.