According to criteria published earlier, all job-failed graduates should have a degree or higher national diploma from a course approved by the University Grants Commission, the regulator of the universities mired in the quality crisis producing tens of thousands of graduates who are left unemployed.
Some course of state universities including in management, engineering, information technology and medicine are in high demand.
It is not clear which courses and which universities are most responsible for producing unemployed graduates, or whether resident or external degrees are most responsible.
The trainees would be given 20,000 rupees a month for a one year training period, which would cost around 10.9 billion rupees. The cost of the trainers, facilities, electricity, training materials are not known.
In 2019, the University Grants Commission was allocated 61 billion rupees in tax payer money according to finance ministry data, up from 55 billion rupees in 2018.
When made permanent, the job-failed graduates would add to Sri Lanka’s already bloated public service, which took home 48 cents of out every tax rupee collected from the public (820 billion rupees out of 1712 billion rupees in taxes), via salaries, wages and also pensions of retirees.
Some productive sector employers have complained of the lack of initiative and weak team work capacity of state sector graduates as reasons for not hiring as well as a militant ‘entitled’ attitude among some who believe society owes them a job.
The job-failed graduate are going after tax money as Sri Lanka is recovering from a currency crisis in 2018, which saw the rupee collapse from 152 to 182 to the US dollars, slowing growth, raising inflation and national debt.
The behavior of Sri Lanka’s job-failed graduates who are going after taxes collected from the people is in sharp contrast to the people of Korea who acted after a currency crisis led to a collapse of the Korean won against the dollar, triggering contraction in economy and spike in inflation like Sri Lanka.
In 1998, the Korean people collected 227 tonnes of gold to shore up foreign reserves. (Colombo/Mar08/2020)