Sri Lanka

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An island nation of about 20 million people located off the southern coast of India, Sri Lanka has high literacy rates and a strong network of non-governmental organisations.


COL’s current 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. Sri Lanka benefits from programmes under the aegis of the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, and learners have also benefited from COL’s open online courses and other resources.

In May 2016, COL’s President and CEO Professor Asha Kanwar received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Lit.) Honoris Causa from OUSL.


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
  • Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure
  • MAS Holdings
  • National Institute of Education
  • Open University of Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka Development Journalist Forum
  • University Grants Commission
  • University of Peradeniya
  • University of Ruhuna
  • Women’s Development Centre

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

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