New common entrepreneurship curricula to be adopted by Sri Lanka’s training institutes

Leading training providers pledge to collaborate in training delivery



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Expressing their commitment to improve vocational training, technical education, and enterprise development in Sri Lanka, eleven training institutes launched a set of common curricula for entrepreneurship training. The new curricula was developed in partnership with the U.S Agency of International Development (USAID)-funded Youth Employability and Business Start-up Program (YouLead) by officials from the Industrial Development Board, National Enterprise Development Authority, University of Vocational Technology, Vocational Training Authority, National Youth Services Council, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority, Small Enterprise Development Division, Department of Technical Education and Training, University College of Anuradhapura, Ceylon German Technical Training Institute and Sarvodaya Movement.


"Helping bright young men and women to realize their dreams and set up a new enterprise is one of the most impactful activities we can do. Of course, not all will succeed, but those who do inject new ideas and energy in the economy, can employ other unemployed youth and help build a sustainable future for Sri Lanka," said USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Reed Aeschliman.


To fill a long-felt need for an updated curriculum for the Tertiary and Vocational Education (TVET) sector, the YouLead program brought together stakeholders to develop a common set of curricula based on international best practices and incorporating the latest competency standards. The new curricula also introduce more effective teaching techniques such as student-centered learning and case-studies. The global-standardized syllabus has also been conceptualized to align with the local context—using Sri Lankan examples and case studies where possible. The participating training institutes pledged to introduce the new curricula quickly and encourage Sri Lanka’s youth to set up their own businesses.


"The literature on entrepreneurship training is limited, but training programs are often critiqued for their lack of practicality, lack of cultural sensitivity, and the lack of long-term vision.  The current entrepreneurial training system appears to be facing the after effects of transplanting global practices without significant localization or identification of the grassroot-level challenges and therefore often don’t resonate with our youth or build the confidence they need to start their own businesses. I am confident these joint curricula will be much more useful for our prospective entrepreneurs", noted Dr. Premasiri Gamage.


YouLead is a $12 million program supported by the U.S. Government’s development agency, USAID, and implemented by IESC - an organization that has worked with hundreds of private enterprises in Sri Lanka since 1965. It aims to improve technical and vocational education and training, create a more skilled workforce, and link youth to more productive careers by undertaking activities to support and strengthen students, teachers, institutions and entrepreneurs. Under YouLead, IESC partners with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce, Arizona State University, Global Communities, Skills for Life, and Verité Research. YouLead also engages with private sector and public and private training institutes to help Sri Lankan youth become more employable and find career opportunities in fields with growing private sector employment demand.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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