“An invaluable addition to the scholarly literature on Sri Lankan social development” says Emeritus Professor Laksiri Jayasuriya, University of Western Australia; Foundation Professor of Sociology and Social Welfare and Dean Social Sciences, University of Ceylon, Colombo; and author of ‘Taking Social Development Seriously: The Experience of Sri Lanka’ and numerous other widely recognized publications.
“Taken in its totality, it brings out two irrefutable phenomena in the field of education policy formulation and implementation in Sri Lanka” says Deshamanya K.H.J.Wijayadasa, former Secretary to the President.

About the author

Eric J. de Silva graduated from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya with an Economics (Honours) degree in 1958, and entered the prestigious Ceylon Civil Service in March 1960.
After serving in senior positions in District Administration, Departments, Ministries and the Presidential Secretariat, he made his entry into the field of education as Secretary, Ministry of Education in March 1980.  He left this position in May 1982 to take up a UNESCO appointment as head of an education project in Sri Lanka funded under the United Nations Development Programme. This provided him with the opportunity of working closely with the field level in the education system and familiarizing himself with the issues and problems faced at the grassroots in delivering good quality education.

On completion of the above project in December 1987, de Silva reverted to the public service and retired three years later to take up an assignment with UN-ESCAP to coordinate a Human Resources Development Project in the Asia-Pacific region. After returning to Sri Lanka in March 1992, he undertook a number of assignments for international agencies in education and associated areas, and had the distinction of being appointed as a member of the International Team of Consultants selected by UNDP  Headquarters, New York in May 1996 to assess the impact of its global, inter-regional and regional programmes.

While on retirement from the public service, de Silva undertook three assignments for government on a contractual basis as Adviser to the Prime Minister from November 1993 to August 1994, Director-General of Education Reforms Implementation from May 1997 to July 1998, and Adviser to the Ministry of Policy Development and Implementation from April 2003 to April 2004. He is now a frequent contributor to national newspapers on public policy with a special focus on education, and other matters of general interest.


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