Education and Training
RDC’s expansion into the Education Sector began in the late 1990s when the then Government of Sri Lanka had began a series of reforms in the secondary education sector. With the firms’ wide expertise in benefit evaluation and strong team of consultants, RDC was awarded the contract to evaluate the four year long program in secondary education development that aimed to provide equitable access to quality secondary education with improved curricular, teaching materials and teacher education. The expertise that evolved from this experience went on to review the entire system to carry this forward to a secondary education modernization program funded through an ADB technical assistance.
Since then RDC has carried out several assignments relating to education and training program design analysis to ensure relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of key components. In addition to education program design, project inputs have included implementation and evaluation spanning secondary education, post secondary education, tertiary education, distance education, skills development, and technical and vocational training. Today RDC’s expertise in the sector includes:
This enabled RDC to launch into the Technical and Vocational education sector and enhance its other fields of activity such as rural enterprise (see RDC sector profile on Rural enterprise and Credit). Further, associated with the firm’s education sector and institutional strengthening expertise, an understanding was gained in working with prevailing systems for improved education and training management.
RDC has carried out several projects in the Education and Training Sector and some key representative projects among these are described below.
Specific assignments carried out include:
Benefit Monitoring and Evaluation of the ADB funded Secondary Education Development Project – A project completion evaluation
RDC consultants carried out a review and evaluation of the four year Secondary Education Development program (SEDP_ which was implemented from 1994 to 1998. The objectives and scope of the SEDP was to improve the quality of secondary education (Grades 6-13) and provide more equitable access to quality Secondary Education in rural areas. The SEDP Project components addressed (i) curricular development - teaching and learning materials (ii) teacher education and training (iii) improvement to student evaluation and examination system, (iv) school improvements, including improvements to physical infrastructure and the supply of necessary equipment. RDC’s team of consultants evaluated the financial and physical progress of all components of the SEDP and provided a comprehensive project evaluation report reflecting the study findings and pointing out strong and weak areas in the program, along with areas for further improvement.
ADB/TA – Secondary Education Modernization Project
Following on the completion of the Secondary Education Development Program in Sri Lanka, the ADB provided a technical assistance to the Government to design a project incorporating the modernization proposals emerging from the said four year project. RDC provided National consultancy inputs in the area of curriculum, materials development and training.
ADB/ Project Preparation TA - Post Secondary Education Modernization
This project preparation exercise aimed at improving quality of post-secondary education by strengthening the capacity of the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), Private Post-secondary Institutes (PPSI’s) and Government Post Secondary Institutes (GPSI’s). The overarching objective was to enhance the country’s human resource base by expanding access and quality of post secondary education.
The project design involved services towards (i) improving the quality and relevance of OUSL course offerings through links to PPSIs, (ii) expand access to postsecondary education by developing additional regional facilities and introducing facilities sharing with PPSIs and GPSIs, and (iii) develop a modern ICT system capable of delivering interactive courses throughout the country by linking public and private institutes. RDC provided the national consultancy inputs for the design of this project to the Government of Sri Lanka.
World Bank/Government of Japan funded - Strengthening of Undergraduate Education; Project Preparation
RDC fielded a team of consultants to review the education, legal and institutional structures of the undergraduate tertiary education system prevailing in Sri Lanka to enhance efficiency, degree of autonomy and more cost effective utilization of funds. This project preparation assignment administered by IDA was a grant from the Government of Japan towards implementing the Government’s policy on tertiary education reform.
The main components of the project comprised of upgrading system wide governance and management; enhancing the quality and relevance of undergraduate education and improving access to undergraduate education. Reforms to the existing system were proposed ensuring the methods of allocation of resources “to each” university and “within each” university to its departments, were designed on criteria that ensured the overall objectives of university education, and employment needs of the country.
ADB Loan: Skills Development Project – 1707 SRI (SF)
The main objective of The Skills Development Project was to reform the vocational training sector through improving the quality and relevance of skills development programs available in the country. Accessibility and efficiency of the delivery systems in vocational training were also reviewed. RDC provided long term consultancy inputs to develop skill standards to ensure trade test requirements.
The scope of the Project was to improve the quality and relevance of skills development training programs to build a high quality workforce to address issues resulting from skills mismatch and unemployment among rural and urban youth. The project aimed to restructure and reorient the vocational training system through the introduction of Competency Based Training (CBT) to ensure closer partnership between the vocational training institutions and the industry sector.
Assessment of the institutional Environment and Organizational Capacity of Agencies in the Education Sector, 2005/2006 This assessment study contributed towards formulating policies and action programmes to enhance the effectiveness of the general education system in Sri Lanka. It identified the scope and opportunities for capacity building and institutional development which would result in improvements of quality and efficiency of the service delivery system.
The RDC team of consultants carried out extensive discussions with key officers at Central, Provincial, District and Zonal levels and held a series of mini workshops towards this review and assessment. The outcomes of these and expert recommendations were provided in a comprehensive report to assist in the planning process for the Education Sector Development Framework and program (ESDFP) of the Government of Sri Lanka to commence implementation in 2006. The ESDFP aimed to addressed four major themes - a) promote equitable access to basic and secondary grades; b) increase learning levels and orient the education system to the world of work; c) enhance the efficiency and equity of resource allocation and distribution; d) strengthen the quality of service delivery.