Future Minds 2018, the National Higher Educational and Career Exhibition got underway here today at the BMICH conducting its 13th consecutive edition of the expo.
Hon. Daya Gamage, Minister of Primary Industries declared open the exhibition accompanied by a host of other invitees including, Air Vice Marshal Sumangala Dias, Air Vice Marshal WKMBP Weerasinghe (Representing the Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy), Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Education Mr. Hemantha Premathilaka ( representing the Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi ),Mr. Ajith Wickrama,Deputy Principal of Nalanda College (Representing the Principal Nalanda College, Mr. Thilak Waththuhewa) and Mr. Thusitha Wijayasena – Chairman of Kandy City Centre, a long time benefactor of Future Minds.
Addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony, Minister Daya Gamage articulated a number of interesting points related to higher education. The minister explained about the liberal policy of the current government with regard to private sector higher education and the vision to make Sri Lanka the higher education hub of the Asian Region by the year 2025. Adding that this would make a demand driven and cost effective higher education system, the minister further said that when looking at the parties gathered at Future Minds it can be seen that the private sector has done some good work for the higher education system in Sri Lanka setting an example for the state sector to follow. He also expressed ideas about letting higher education institutes raise funds by conducting research as research institutes. It was a need of the hour to disseminate information regarding the jobs that are most in demand and jobs that pay the highest to the higher education aspirants said the minister and expressed hope that Future Minds is an entity that could do this job.
The country is facing a huge trade balance and this is growing each year. One way to address this is to introduce value addition to existing products and introducing new products for export. There is a huge role that the higher education system can play here and expectations are high, the minister said.
The minister said that people are looking for govt jobs even if it is a cleaning job at a government institute. This attitude has to change as the government is spending Rs. 20 to 30 Lakhs for a state sponsored degree, so demanding the government for a government job is not going to do good at all.
The minister said an important idea was mooted during the guided tour of Future Minds to implement a monitoring system that will track how many qualifiers find jobs after following a certain type of higher education programmer which will help to identify job availability.
The minister expressed his willingness to collaborate with Future Minds to do productive work and wished a successful 2018 edition for Future Minds.