I have now been an invalid for over 10 months, in the sense that I need crutches to get around and am severely limited in what I can do. I also do not have transport, and am dependent on others or cab services to get about. It is strange but now I do not seem to even let it concern me. Today, I left for the office at 8am and got home after 8pm, and was so busy during the day, that I hardly noticed the time passing. Even then I hardly achieved half of what I set out to do, as I was distracted by two University Graduates who needed advice on how to go about getting employment.
I used the opportunity to mine them for all the information about schools, subjects, teachers and prospects as well as the issues within the University system. They made an interesting and valid point about the times we live in. Whilst they said that 16 students in their primary school, had gone onto University, their Primary School is now closed, as the student numbers choosing this school dwindled to the point that the school closed. The buildings still remain, a ghost of its former glory!
A thousand schools have shut these 5 years, and 2000 will close within the next few, due to a lack of students. It makes them uneconomical to run. Just imagine the number of empty closed schools dotting the landscape. The State must make alternative use of these land and buildings, before it becomes derelict, an eyesore and a menace in the neighborhood inhabited by low life. There will be an outcry if the land is sold, but it sure will yield a substantial amount of money for other purposes, especially improving the quality of teaching in the remaining schools.
It was an unusual day in that for the first time in years, I received two calls from ladies the UK, where I lived for many years. One was to enquire after my health only just having heard of my accident and operations, and the other was to ask if I still sold Sri Lankan manufactured Platinum and Diamond rings which I sold in the US many years ago. Her son had wanted to get one to give his girlfriend. An example of an odd occurrences in a day.
I obtained a copy of the latest UNDP Human Development Report and this year’s one is on equity and sustainable development. I would recommend it as an essential read for University Students, as they can get a perspective on life that is absent in Sri Lankan thinking, and such students if they are really undergrad quality should be able to appreciate its views. For those setting out to find their first real job and begin the hard climb up the corporate ladder, this report is likely to give one a rounded perspective on what is important for a good quality of life.
I doubt however if ANY student in the University system in Sri Lanka will study its contents, let alone come out with a critical interpretation of how it should apply in the Sri Lankan context, where it is obvious to me we are hell bent on doing everything that is unsustainable to get our ranking down, instead of up, which is the direction we should go. So no matter what growth rate we have, if our ranking goes down, then it really means we are heading to a worsening quality of life for our citizens instead of a better one.