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Sri Lanka

Ensuring transparency and impartiality in teacher recruitment policy and process in Sri Lanka (LK0004)



Action Plan: Sri Lanka National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Ministry of Education

Support Institution(s): Viluthu

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Education, Open Data, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sri Lanka Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



Sri Lanka faces many challenges with regards to availability and quality of teachers. Each year, teachers are recruited to meet the needs arising from both enrolment increases and teacher attrition. There are over 230,000 teachers in the school system in Sri Lanka– 84 per cent and 16 per cent of them are in provincial and national schools, respectively. There are two entry paths into public teaching: recruitment by the Provincial Councils; or by the Ministry of Education. Recruitment under both paths is generally based on subject- specific job vacancies. A recent study on public school teacher management in Sri Lanka highlights three trends: “First, the numbers of entrants with a master’s degree or higher are small in each of the years, and the numbers of entrants with a GCE ordinary level qualification become negligible after the 1990s. Second, there are large spikes in the numbers of entrants in some years such as 1989, 1990, and 2005, when over 15,000 entered service in each of those years. Third, the ratio of entrants with a GCE advanced level qualification to those with a bachelor’s degree varies markedly across the years, from a low of 1:5 in 1985 to a high of 4:1 in 2007 (an average of 3:2 over the entire period). While these patterns are mainly due to formal adjustments in recruitment rules and requirements, some patterns—for example the recruitment spikes in certain years—are arguably due to arbitrary adjustments in recruitment requirements stemming from political considerations”. The report also records instances when rules related to minimum academic qualifications and subject-specific vacancies were relaxed. For example, Provincial Councils at times recruited individuals with GCE advanced level qualifications, rather than university degree holders, to fill critical vacancies in certain subjects or at disadvantaged locations. As political concession, public sector jobs were dispensed to university degree holders during periods when the private labor market was weak. At these times, teacher recruitment was based on total vacancies rather than their subject breakdown, leading to over-recruitment in certain subjects (for example, arts and social science subjects) and under-recruitment in others (for example, science, math, English, and computer literacy). Under gridding these trends and observations is the lack of transparency in the recruitment and transfer policies. Issues to be Addressed: Lack of transparency regarding teacher appointments and transfers. Main Objective: To create an open and transparent process on recruitments and postings of teachers.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

For commitment details, see the full report: English | Sinhala | Tamil

Sri Lanka's Commitments

  1. Integrity officers to decrease bribery and corruption

    LK0024, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Asset declaration system

    LK0025, 2019, Asset Disclosure

  3. Increase use of RTI

    LK0026, 2019, E-Government

  4. citizen participation in health

    LK0027, 2019, E-Government

  5. Campaign against youth drug use

    LK0028, 2019, Education

  6. open data

    LK0029, 2019, E-Government

  7. Agriculture support policy

    LK0030, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Participation for persons with disabilities

    LK0031, 2019, Land & Spatial Planning

  9. Disability rights bill

    LK0032, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  10. Disaster management planning

    LK0033, 2019, Capacity Building

  11. nationak environmental policy

    LK0034, 2019, Environment and Climate

  12. CEDAW implementation

    LK0035, 2019, Capacity Building

  13. local service delivery

    LK0036, 2019, E-Government

  14. feedback on public bus

    LK0037, 2019, E-Government

  15. implementing UN convention on the rights of the child in a participatory manner

    LK0038, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  16. Improving public access to preventive and curative strategies to combat Chronic Kidney Disease

    LK0001, 2016, Health

  17. Transparent Policy to Provide Safe and Affordable Medicines for All

    LK0002, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. National Health Performance

    LK0003, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Ensuring transparency and impartiality in teacher recruitment policy and process in Sri Lanka

    LK0004, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Enhance the services of Government Information Center (GIC- 1919) for Inclusive, Transparent, accountable and Efficient Governance, using ICT as enabler

    LK0005, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Promote the Open Data Concept and delivering the benefits to Citizens through ICT

    LK0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. National Environmental Act (NEA) Amendments

    LK0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Coast Conservation

    LK0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Flora and Fauna Protection

    LK0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Transparent and Accountable Procurement System for Local Authorities in Sri Lanka

    LK0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Local Authority Procurement System Implementation

    LK0011, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  27. Annual Work Plan of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs to include a transparent and accountable process to implement selected Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Concluding Observations.

    LK0012, 2016, Gender

  28. CEDAW Implementation – Accountability

    LK0013, 2016, Gender

  29. CEDAW – Inclusion

    LK0014, 2016, Gender

  30. Strengthening Women Participation in the political decision making process at the local level

    LK0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to increase constructive public participation

    LK0016, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  32. Implement UNCAC

    LK0017, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  33. Coordination among Anti-Corruption Agencies

    LK0018, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  34. Corruption and Money Laundering

    LK0019, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. Campaign Finance

    LK0020, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  36. Disseminate Asset Declaration

    LK0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  37. Starred commitment The enactment and implementation of the RTI Act

    LK0022, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  38. Proactive Disclosure

    LK0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation