The level of education in Sri Lanka is higher
than in many other developing countries; On average,
more than nine out of ten langes can read and write.
However, the level of education is somewhat lower among
the minority groups, especially among the Indian Tamils
in the highlands.
Free and compulsory school has existed since the
1940s. The children start school at the age of five and
must legally attend school for eleven years. Virtually
all children begin the first, five-year stage and nine
out of ten even the four-year high school.
Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of Sri
Lanka, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and
Country facts of Sri Lanka, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Then follow four high school years, of which the
first two are compulsory. The last two high school years
are college preparatory. Almost every fifth student goes
on to university and college. Among them are more girls
Almost all schools are state. Teaching is in
Sinhalese or Tamil. The various ethnic groups are taught
in their respective religions. Some Buddhist temples run
schools, so-called pirivenas.
During the colonial period (1802–1948), the British
gave the Tamils better opportunities for education
than other peoples, a relationship that existed even
after independence. In order to change this, in 1974 a
strict quota system was introduced to the universities.
The system meant that many Tamils could not study at
university, something they felt discriminatory. One
consequence of the system is that there is now a
shortage of Tamil-speaking teachers.
Sri Lanka has 15 universities (2017) and a number of
colleges, but the number of places in higher education
is limited. In addition, the education programs are
poorly adapted to the demand in the labor market. Too
few scientists and too many humanists are educated,
which results in many young academics going unemployed.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
99.1 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
92.4 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
14.5 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
14.5 percent (2017)
Sri Lanka rents out port to China
Sri Lanka signs an agreement to lease the port of
Hambantota to China for 99 years for $ 1.1 billion. The
agreement will reduce the country's debt of $ 8 billion
to Chinese state-owned companies.
Violence between Muslims and Buddhists in the south
Clashes erupt between Muslims and Buddhists in the
province of Galle in the south after rumors spread
through social media in connection with a traffic
accident between a Muslim woman and a Buddhist man on a
motorcycle. The material damage to houses and other
property during the riots is described as extensive.
Violence between Buddhists and Muslims sometimes flames
up in Sri Lanka.
Opposite website blocked
London-based, government-critical website Lanka E
News has been blocked for readers in Sri Lanka, says
site administrators for the news agency AFP. In this
case, this is the first time that the Sri Lankan
authorities have restricted access to the Internet since
the Sirisena government took office in 2015. The
blocking occurs the day after Lanka E Bews published an
article on suspected bribery in connection with the
procurement of vehicles at the Sirisena office.
High food prices lead to reduced import taxes
Sri Lanka sharply cuts import taxes on a range of
basic foods such as lentils, cooking oil, potatoes and
dried fish in an attempt to curb high inflation. In
October, inflation was noted at almost 8 percent as a
result of higher food prices. Bad harvests due to
drought and floods have made food more and more
Acute gasoline shortages create chaos
An acute shortage of gasoline occurs for several days
when the authorities refuse to receive a 40,000 tonnes
of gasoline cargo which they consider to be
contaminated. Soon, queues start to ring around the gas
stations and people are forced to park cars, motorcycles
and tuk-tuk taxis at home. When new gasoline delays,
India sends a ship of 21,000 tonnes.
Buddhist monks attack flying Rohingya
Radical Buddhist monks storm a UN-run refuge for a
group of Muslim Rohingya. Among the refugees are 16
children. The monks vandalize the building and UN
personnel are forced to relocate the refugees to another
location. Rohingya is a Muslim, stateless people group
that since the end of August 2017 has moved west from
persecution in Myanmar (formerly Burma). The vast
majority have stayed in Bangladesh but some stay in
countries like India, Nepal and Sri Lanka where they are
usually not welcomed but treated poorly.
Natural disasters threaten the economy
The government promises stimulus measures to boost
the economy after the severe floods in May and the
severe drought that followed. Entrepreneurs are promised
subsidized loans and reduced taxes on vehicles, while
private individuals are supported to install solar
panels and avoid tax on broadband. Around 1.5 million
inhabitants have been affected by the floods and
Final sale sign for port sales
Despite widespread opposition, an agreement is being
concluded with state-owned Chinese company China
Merchants Port Holdings to take over the port of
Hambantota, a $ 1.1 billion deal. The government has
used tough anti-strike laws to prevent employees from
quitting the port in protest of the sale. The opposition
from both unions and the opposition has made it delayed
before the agreement could be finally concluded.
The military leaves fishing port in Jaffna
The military withdraws from the fishing port of
Mayliddy on the Jaffna Peninsula after occupying it for
27 years. Thus, the close to 200 Tamil families who were
forced to move from the area in 1990 can return. The
civil war between Tamils and Sinhalese ended in 2009,
but the government has maintained a large military
presence in the old Tamil-dominated war zones in the
At least 170 people are killed and almost half a
million residents are forced to leave their homes after
extensive flooding and landslides triggered by torrents.
The floods are believed to be the worst since 2003.
India is investing in port projects
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and India's Prime
Minister Narendra Modi sign a cooperation agreement that
includes, among other things, India investing in the Sri
Lankan port of Trincomalee. Recently, China invested
money in the construction of a new port in the city of
Hambantota. The two Asian giants India and China compete
for influence over Sri Lanka.