Avinya Aims To Bridge A Gap In Sri Lanka’s Education Sector With Vocational Opportunities
Avinya Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in Sri Lanka will unveil its first school in January as part of a long-term strategy to offer less-privileged students recognized, non-traditional and affordable vocational education programs.
The Avinya Academy Bandaragama, in partnership with Sarvodaya, will be the first of a planned network of schools, offering high-quality technical as well as social and soft skills that will support students who wish to pursue an alternative career path in specialized fields.
“Our aim is to guide and support students in their chosen vocational fields with an all-round learning experience that will help them to compete effectively in the employer market and ensure a valued professional future. We will give post-Ordinary Level exam students an alternative path to pursuing Advanced Level exams which can lead them directly to employment upon completion or have the option to continue further studies,” said Dr. SanjivaWeerawarana, Founder and Chairman of Avinya Foundation.
Commenting on the partnership and Avinya’s curriculum and learning model, Dr. VinyaAriyaratne, Director General of the Sarvodaya Institute of Higher Learning, said the program will offer students a well-rounded learning experience, with the aim to “mold holistically complete individuals.”
“Avinya Foundation’s vocational training isn’t just about gearing up an individual towards a profession. It also carries the responsibility of rendering a cultured citizen to society. The courses prioritize empowering professionals capable of maintaining respect among individuals, with admiration to a fair society and nature’s values, while being economical and energy efficient,” he added.
The three-year program will be conducted by Avinya’s team of education
ist and industry professionals. It will start with the 6-month AvinyaEmpower program followed by a comprehensive curriculum that will include technical expertise as well as coaching, mentoring, and professional skills so students will be employment-ready. During the Empower program students will learn English, effective communication skills, digital literacy, analytical reasoning, creative thinking, leadership skills, entrepreneurial drive, and other 21st century skills that are critical to mak e an individual competitive in today’s marketplace through a project based learning approach. The Foundation will also facilitate internships and apprenticeships as part of the education program and assist with employment placements for all graduates. During the program, all students are expected to work on campus in various roles and will be compensated for that work.
Students will be required to pay to attend the Avinya Academy. However, every student will be given means-tested financial assistance, thereby ensuring equal opportunity for less-privileged students to pursue higher education. In addition to the initial seed funding provided by the Weerawarana Foundation, the Avinya Foundation will raise funds and work with various donors to build the schools network and to bridge student fees.