Sri Lanka

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An island nation of over 22 million people (World Bank, 2022), Sri Lanka is located off the southern coast of India and has high literacy rates and a strong network of non-governmental organisations.

COL’s work in Sri Lanka is primarily in the areas of girls’ and women’s education and training, higher education, teacher education, lifelong learning for farmers, and technology-enabled learning and benefits from programmes under the aegis of the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA). Learners from Sri Lanka are also participating in COL’s free, open online courses and benefitting from other available resources.


  • Online workshops were held for the vocational trainers and marginalised youth on employability skills and spoken English.
  • Video tutorial in Sinhala developed on ‘Sustainable Farming Techniques’ for bamboo cultivators.
  • A strategy for digitising learning resources, focusing on climate-responsive sustainable livelihoods and food security has been developed.
  • Professor Shironica P. Karunanayaka, The Open University of Sri Lanka was appointed COL Chair for the period 2023 to 2026.
  • 2,643 women and girls trained in Sri Lanka.


Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector. COL partnerships assist in improving and extending teaching and learning services to people in the developing Commonwealth.

COL’s partners in Sri Lanka include:

  • Ministry of Education
  • Centre for Media and Information Literacy (CMIL)
  • National Institute of Education (NIE)
  • National Library of Sri Lanka
  • Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL)
  • Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC)
  • Together with Youth
  • University Grants Commission
  • Women’s Development Centre (WDC)
  • Wayamba Technical College, Sri Lanka Youth Ltd

Key Contacts


Honourable Dr Susil Premajayantha, MP
Minister of Education

Focal Point

Mrs Hasini Thalagala
Director of Education
(Foreign Agencies and External Affairs)
Ministry of Education

Notable Mention

Professor Uma Coomaraswamy, COL Honorary Fellow

Professor Shironica Karunanayaka, Honorary COL Adviser

Dr Tara de Mel, former member of COL’s Board of Governors

Mr H.M. Sirisena, former member of COL’s Board of Governors

Professor D.S. Wijeyesekera, former member of COL’s Board of Governors

More Information