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Advocacy, sesitization and development of OER policy for provincial education ministries in Sri Lanka
Karunanayaka, Shironica P. and Abeywardena, Ishan Sudeera

PublishedNovember 2016
ConferenceCommonwealth of Learning (COL)
PublisherPan-Commonwealth Forum 8 (PCF8)
CountrySri Lanka, Asia

With the objective of providing direction in the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) to increase access to and support quality teaching and learning in the school education system in Sri Lanka, an advocacy program was conducted leading to the development of draft OER policies for the Provincial Ministries of Education, representing the nine provinces of the country. This paper discusses the procedures, challenges and outcomes of this process.

The process included preparation of a draft OER policy framework; build awareness among key stakeholders on the concept of OER; advocate the benefits of an OER policy for education; initiate the process of drafting OER policies and working towards a final draft policy. While scheduling the meetings at the nine Provincial Departments of Education was very challenging due to their very busy official involvements and unanticipated issues such as natural disasters, the outcome of the activities was quite optimistic. This initiative was very positively accepted by all stakeholders in the nine provinces, realizing the significance of developing a government policy on integrating OER in the school education system in Sri Lanka, in order to help making teachers, learners and the greater community more sensitized about and encouraged to make productive use of openly licensed educational materials.

The draft policy framework prepared was accepted by all, indicating their specific feedback catering to provincial requirements. Especially, promoting teachers not only to reuse existing OER, but also to create and share supplementary educational materials as OER in the two national languages (Sinhala and Tamil) matching with the national school curriculum requirements was identified as a crucial need. For this, the need for raising awareness, building capacity, developing positive attitudes, preparing guidelines for OER adoption at school level, and establishing OER repositories containing materials created by teachers and learners were suggested. Further, the importance of utilizing the already established ICT-enabling environments at school, zonal and provincial levels, as well as introducing emerging technologies and upgrading of facilities to support access to and redistribution of OER, with proper monitoring and evaluation mechanisms were emphasized.

It is envisaged that the development of Provincial OER Policies leading to a National OER Policy would effectively address the needs of the Sri Lankan education system to meet new challenges in moving towards a knowledge society.

Keywords Advocacy · General School Education System · OER policy · Provincial Ministries of Education in Sri Lanka · Provincial OER Policy Framework

Published atBurnaby, British Columbia
RightsAttribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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