SACTD: Education Minister assures steps being taken to retain UNESCO recognistion

Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the Education Ministry has sent proposals to funding agencies to provide monetary support to a UNESCO-recognised institution here to avoid losing that recognition.

Earlier,  revealed that the South Asian Centre for Teacher Development (SACTD) established in Meepe nine years ago was at risk of losing UNESCO) recognition.

SACTD located in Meepe was established in 2014 as a category II centre under the auspices of UNESCO with the Sri Lanka Government being a service provider, standard setter and a research management centre in the field of teacher development in the South Asian sub-region.

Minister Premajayantha told that “When I took over as minister the institute was in a neglected state despite having the global recognition and basic infrastructure provided. There were no internationally recognised courses and it had failed to attract teacher trainers from South Asia,”

UNESCO was to make a final evaluation and make a decision by the end of this year.

“We are currently sending reports to UNESCO on the developments being made. We have reached out to our embassies to contact their respective Education Ministers to submit recommendations to appoint members to the Board of Directors.

“UNESCO has been pushing for the centre to be a self-financing autonomous one and not to be under the National Institute of Education. In order to be self-financing, the centre has to have strong academic programmes to attract students. Currently we are looking into affiliations with globally recognised education sector institutions and we have already partnered with an Australian institution on training trainers of primary education,” the Minister said.

The Government recently opened a hostel complex that was built at a cost of Rs 400 mn.

“This hostel can accommodate 110 participants. Infrastructure facilities have been completed. Now we are expediting other areas such as course preparation, establishing a board of directors inclusive of South Asian education experts to form lecture panels,” the minister said adding that by July, the centre would be able to conduct courses with the participation of teacher trainers from the region.

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