Linking Education to Jobs in Sri Lanka

Category: jobs

In a gleaming, new lab building at Mahinda Rajapakse College, a secondary school on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital city Colombo, a science experiment is taking place. Student Rashmi Koushalya observes closely as her teacher creates a microbial-free environment and inserts plant tissues into a growth medium using new, specialized equipment. It has been only a few months since Rashmi transferred to the school to join the first batch of students enrolled in Sri Lanka’s new technology education stream.

“My ambition is to be a nanotechnology scientist, or work in the weather department,” she says. “I think this subject is very important for my future.”

So does the government. Sri Lanka’s economy has been growing rapidly since the end of a long and bitter civil conflict in 2009. That growth is creating new jobs and the government wants to ensure its schools are producing graduates that can meet the needs of private industry and support sustainable economic growth.

Focus on practical skills

Category: jobs

“Frankly speaking, in the beginning, the teachers weren’t confident in what was going to happen,” says Diroshan Gunawardana, one of the first teachers to join the technology stream faculty at Mahinda Rajapakse College. A particular concern was whether there would be suitable university degree programs or certification prospects available to graduates of the program.

The Ministry of Education has acted to address this concern and ensure pathways for future study and qualification. Several national universities are now introducing a Bachelor of Technology degree that will be open to students from the technical stream. These students can also pursue nationally recognized vocational qualification certificates, even while completing their secondary studies. These certificates open doors to higher-level vocational certification upon graduation or entry-level jobs.

The ministry is working to raise awareness of the new stream. It has produced training materials for guidance counselors and is developing a campaign to inform teachers, parents, and students about various career options and how the technology stream will prepare students for them.

“I feel that with the interventions made by the Ministry of Education and by other sectors, the gaps are being bridged,” says Diroshan. “Now teachers feel confident encouraging students to take up this stream.”

As for Rashmi and her classmates, they feel lucky to be pioneers. Rusiruan Thasara has always wanted to be an engineer and says he likes the technology stream’s focus on practical skills. Kushan Thihagga thinks the program widens his options: If he does well on the advanced level exam, he can take the traditional route to university; if that doesn’t work out he will have useful skills to find a technical job.

Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka.

Category: property

The ruins of the capital built by the parricidal King Kassapa I (477–95) lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 180m high (the 'Lion's Rock', which dominates the jungle from all sides). A series of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a gigantic lion constructed of bricks and plaster provide access to the site.

Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilisation, thought to be once the epicentre of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning.

Sigiriya refuses to reveal its secrets easily, and you'll have to climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top. On the way you'll pass a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock. The surrounding landscape – lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens and quiet shrines – and the excellent site museum, only add to Sigiriya's rock-star appeal.

The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level.

Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination.

Since 3th century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century king Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here.

After his death Sigiriya again became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it was abandoned

In the rainy season, all channels are filled with water, which begins to circulate through the whole area of Sigiriya. Fountains of Sigiriya built in the V century, perhaps, are the oldest in the world.

Great Ayurveda Treatment in Sri Lanka


Ayurveda in Sri Lanka

During my Yoga retreat in Ulpotha in Sri Lanka in June 2015 I opted for the 10 day Ayurveda cure called Namaskaraya (Salutation) on site. Sri Lanka with its ideal climate and Ulpotha with its unique environment sounded like an perfect combination for an exiting Ayurveda treatment program. Ulpotha is a particularly suitable place as the food, the environment, and activities such as Yoga complement the therapies and serve to underscore the holistic approach of Ayurveda itself.

Ayurveda in Sri Lanka has a long tradition

Ayurveda in Sri Lanka has a long tradition: it is said that in the 6th century BC, Prince Vijaya from India became king of Sri Lanka and introduced Ayurveda to the island together with his personal physician. Ayurveda aims at balancing the body’s energies through which health and vitality can be restored. I was given an appointment to see Dr. Srilal, Ulpotha’s resident Ayurveda doctor on my second day of stay. Dr. Srilal invited me to his ancestral hut where I was to symbolically offer betel leaves, a very traditional form of ‘paying’ a consultation fee.

The 7 Doshas in Ayurveda

Dr. Srilal took great care in explaining Ayurveda in general and my course of treatment in particular. He read my pulse and through asking me a variety of questions, he got a sense of what imbalances were present, thus also determining my Dosha.

The Dosha describes the body’s energy, there are 7 different Dosha types:

Vata Pitta Kapha Vata / Pitta Vata /Kapha Pitta / Lapha and Tridosha, which is a blend of all 3 primary Doshas Vata / Pitta / Kapha Dr Srilal determined my Dosha as Tridosha, lucky me! It meant that I was allowed to eat anything and do any activities, everything in moderation. Whereas my peers, of which most were identified as Vata / Pitta types, were recommended to avoid certain foods. Apparently I am well balanced by genetics (oh well, maybe not my doing then?). Dr Srilal then chose my treatment program, which started with detoxification therapies which are preparatory and specialised elimination treatments such as oleation and fomentation: All of the Ayurveda oleation therapies are administered with the intent of dislodging toxins from the body’s tissues and moving them towards the pores. These toxins are extracted through the fomentation therapies, which consist in turn of herbal baths, steam baths and herbal saunas.

My 10 day Ayurveda cure Ayurveda day 1

Day 1 starts with a consultation with Dr Sri Lal, who diagnosed my imbalances by pulse reading: I am Tridosha, well balanced by genetics. Dr Srilal explained also, that you cannot change your Dosha type in general, but you can balance out imbalances. Further he explains, that at Ulpotha no strong treatments (such as applying leeches for example) are administered, as those kind of treatments are better to be performed in a more sterile environment. At Ulpotha, we are in the middle of the jungle after all… more about that in another article. The same day, I am enjoying an Abyanga, a relaxing oil massage with sesame oil which reaches the first layer of the body. My therapist starts the treatment whilst I am sitting on a stool: she ‘slappes’ the crown of my head with oil, then performs a head and neck massage. I was then asked to transfer to the bed, where I received the beautiful full body and face massage. After the massage I was escorted to a stunning bath tub carved out of a piece of rock, where I soaked in my herbal bath that made me feel like a million dollars.

Ayurveda day 2

On the second day, Dr. Srilal ordered an Angamarda Abyanga which is a deeper and more invigorating oil massage for the second layer of the body. The oil used was Pinda oil, which penetrates the skin deeper. The strokes for this massage were repeated many times which made for great relaxation. After this massage, which was my total favourite amongst all treatments, I was invited to the sauna. The sauna at Ulpotha Ayurveda Village is a traditional round hut with open fire underneath. I sat on the little bench inside and admired the skilfully laid out floor: each of the small compartments in the floor was filled with different herbs, flowers and medicines.

Ayurveda day 3

On day 3, I was looking much forward to my Shirodara, the oil pouring to the forehead, the 3rd eye. Lying on the traditional wooden Ayur




Sigiriya Rock Fortress of Sri Lanka is situated in Matale district near Dambulla. It can be reached along Colombo- Habarana highway by turning towards east from Inamaluwa. Proceeding about 10 km from Inamaluwa and passing Kimbissa township one arrives at Sigiriya.

Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka. The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level.

Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination.

The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhibited for several thousand years. These inscriptions are proving that Sigiriya was a tourist destination more than a thousand years ago. Today, painting on the wall is strictly prohibited. The buildings and gardens of Sigiriya show that the creators of this amazing architectural monument used unique and creative technical skills and technologies.

The gardens of Sigiriya are among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Sigiriya has water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and also terraced gardens.