Golden Temple Dambulla

Partner Ministry/Organization Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET)
Recent Programs Held in the Country
2019: Development of Curriculum Integrating Technopreneurship (Jun 17-21)

2018: In-Country Program on Organizational Strengthening through Strategic Direction (Jun 18-22)

2017: In-Country Program on Strengthening of TVET Systems: Linkages with the Industries (May 22-26)

2016: (1) In-Country Program on Image Building in TVET (Jun 13-17); (2) Study Tour of Senior Officials of Institute of Technology University of Moratuwa and Ministry of Higher Education and Highways, Sri Lanka (Jun 5–8); (3) Study Visit of Officials from Ministry of Education (MoE), Sri Lanka to Malaysia on Technical Education and Vocational Training (Sep 19–23)

2015: In-Country Program on Institutional Management (Dec 15-19)

2013: In-Country Program on Total Quality Management (Dec 2-6)

2012: In-Country program on Training Needs Analysis (Dec 10-14)

2011: (1) Special In-Country Program on Champion Leaders’ Development Program for TVET Skills for Poverty Alleviation (Mar 28 - Apr 2); (2) In-Country Program on Research and Development (Dec 19-23)
Address of Embassy/Consulate in Manila No. 505 Rizal Drive
No. 150, 7th Floor, G.C. Corporate Plaza
Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City, Philippines

srilanka flag

Official Name Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Land Area 65,610 km2 (25,330 sq mi) (122nd)
Population 20,277,597 (57th)
Capital Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (pop. 115,826)
Largest Cities Colombo (pop. 752, 993) Dehiwala (pop. 245,974)
Moratuwa (pop. 207,755)
Negombo (pop. 127,754)
Country Borders India (north)
Religion(s) Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity
Major Languages Sinhalese, Tamil
Demonym Sri Lankan
National Holidays 4 February 1948 (separation from the United Kingdom)
No. of years of Primary Education 11
Major Universities University of Colombo
University of Kelaniya
University of Moratuwa
University of Ruhuna
University of Sri Jayewardenepura
University of Jaffna
Rajarata University
General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University
Eastern University of Sri Lanka
Sabaragamuwa University
Wayamba University of Sri Lanka
Uva Wellassa University
South Eastern University of Sri Lanka
Open University of Sri Lanka
Primary School Enrollment (Total) 317,899 (2016)
Tertiary School Enrollment (Total) 188,764 (2016)
Ministry/ Ministries Supervising Education Ministry of Education
Education as % of GDP 3.49% (2016)
Agency Handling TVET Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training
(Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs)
(Ministry of Higher Education and Highways)
(Ministry of Tourism Development, Land and Christian Development Affairs)
TVET System of Sri Lanka


Figure 1.

Primary education starts at the age of five and lasts for five years. It is divided into five grades and finishes with the Grade 5 Scholarship and Placement Examination. Secondary education consists of two levels – junior secondary and senior secondary levels. Junior secondary level (grades 6-9) lasts four years while the senior secondary level (grades 10-11) lasts two years. At the end of secondary education, students sit the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary-level examination which gives access to one to two-year programmes at technical colleges and finishes with a vocational diploma. The GCE examination is followed by the last stage of formal education – the collegiate level – which lasts two years and leads to the GCE Advanced-level examination. Primary education is compulsory. After passing the GCE Advance level examination, students can continue with higher education at universities and national colleges of education or TVET institutions. Bachelor’s degrees usually take three to four years, master’s degrees take two years and doctoral degree programmes take three to five years.

Formal TVET system;
The Formal TVET sector of Sri Lanka comprises 348 public sector training centers and about 670 active private and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) training centers.


Figure 2. TVET System of Sri Lanka
Note. Figure reprinted from National Vocational Qualifications and Certifications System of Sri Lanka, by Ranjith. Retrieved from National Vocational Qualification Systems of CPSC Member Countries 2017, CPSC.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems;
A large number of non-formal TVET in Sri Lanka focuses on IT and is offered on a fee-levying basis. Nevertheless, there is a widespread network of non-fee levying institutions which are funded through national and international charities.

The National Vocational Qualifications Framework of Sri Lanka (NQVSL) recognizes competencies acquired through informal learning such as:
  • Workplace experiences;
  • Life experiences;
  • Self-directed study;
  • Informal uncertificated learning;
  • Formal uncertificated learning;
  • Informal undocumented study;
  • In-service training;
  • Distance education or open learning;
  • Community-based learning; and
  • Overseas education, training or experiences.
Competencies are assessed through Recognition of Prior Learning” (RPL) against NVQSL before candidates are awarded a National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) certificate at the appropriate level.


Figure 3.
Qualification Framework The National Vocational Qualifications Framework of Sri Lanka (NVQSL) is the key in unifying technical and vocational education and training. Its aim is to ensure that existing and new TVET activities are coordinated. The National Competency Standards (NCS) are prepared in consultation with the industry and curricula, trainer guides, trainee guides and assessment resources are prepared based on the NCS. A competency standard is a document defining competency units pertaining to skills, standards and activities related to acquiring relevant knowledge, competencies and attitudes. Competency units are identified based on industry requirements in a particular occupation.

Assessments are competency-based and the system is benchmarked against qualification systems in developed countries. Competency-based training curricula and related training, learning and assessment materials are included in the framework, together with requirements for registration and accreditation of training providers and their courses.

An operational manual for NVQSL is compiled by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) with the assistance of the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Vocational Training Authority (VTA), Department of Technical Education (DTET), National Youth Services Council (NYSC) and National Institute of Technical Education (NITESL). The manual outlines agreed policies and processes for implementation of all competencies as outline in NVQSL. NVQSL comprises of seven qualification levels. Each level describes the learning process and requirements as well as occupational responsibility involved.
Levels of NVQS
LevelQualificationGeneralized Description
Level 1 NVQ 1 in Building Career Skills Introduces students to soft skills that will facilitate employment. These include communication skills in English which is required by most employers, along with cognitive skills and social attitudes that will enable employees to work together with others whilst understanding systems and routines and applying relevant knowledge.
Level 2 NVQ 2 in Developing Career Skills And NVQ 2 in Basic competencies for particular professions Develops Communication Skills in English and advanced cognitive skills, including time and task management, prioritization and organization. Basic work competencies develops an assistant worker able to function effectively under a qualified supervisor.
Level 3 NVQ 3, Certificate Introducing students to particular sectors And Competencies in a range of occupations for productive employability Develops understanding of basic requirements for a career in particular fields with knowledge of fundamentals in such areas and positive attitudes for career development therein. Sector Skills Councils will work together with the TVEC to develop appropriate courses to encourage entry into each sector.
Competent worker able to fulfil routine tasks in specific fields and work efficiently under a qualified supervisor.
Level 4 NVQ 4, Certificate in particular occupations Professional with competencies to work independently and as head of a team
Level 5 NVQ 5, National Diploma Professional competent to work independently and take administrative decisions, and to supervise processes at middle management level.
Level 6 NVQ 6, Higher National Diploma Professional with problem solving capacity who manages processes at middle management level.
Level 7 Bachelor Degree Professional with capacity to manage processes in a particular field and with the flexibility to develop capacities in other areas of work.
Table 1. National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) of Sri Lanka
Note. Table reprinted from National Vocational Qualifications and Certifications System of Sri Lanka, by Ranjith. Retrieved from National Vocational Qualification Systems of CPSC Member Countries 2017, CPSC.

Assessments are conducted by licensed assessors who are hired by accredited training centres where trainees take competency based training courses. Assessors examine trainees’ progress reports, practical and theoretical examination results and other relevant documentation before they admit trainees to NVQ Assessments.

NVQ certificates can also be acquired without completing a competency-based course. The National Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) or any other NVQ-accredited public vocational training center can issue NVQ certificates through the Recognition of Prior Learning System (RPL). Candidates are assessed for their competencies before being awarded a NVQ certificate. Assessment includes inspection of supportive documents or, if no documents available, visits at the workplace to conduct practical tests. Tests can also be conducted at training centers if the workplace does not offer adequate conditions. In case of failure to demonstrate required skills and competencies, candidates will be informed about shortcomings and advised on possibilities to upgrade skills to be awarded a NVQ certificate.
TVET Financing In Sri Lanka, the private sector is already burdened with heavy taxation which would make the imposition of a training levy difficult. However, marketable skills are most needed by the most underprivileged in society who cannot bear the cost of acquisition of TVET skills.

Therefore, a large proportion of education and training is provided free of charge, together with a daily allowance. Some public training institutions charge fees for high demand courses, such as computing, cosmetology, bakery etc.; and engage in training-related production to generate income. At present the state TVET sector depends heavily on treasury funds and a significant extent on donor/lender funding and interventions for development activities.
Employed Population & Employment Rates
YearEmployed PopulationEmployment Rates (% to Total Labor Force)
  Male Female Total Male Female Total
2015 5,097,798 2,733,178 7,830,976 97.0 92.4 95.3
2016 5,149,948 2,797,735 7,947,683 97.1 93.0 x95.6
Table 2.


    1. Asian Development Bank (2014). Innovative Strategies in Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Accelerated Human Resource Development in South Asia: Sri Lanka. Retrieved from
    2. Central Bank of Sri Lanka (2016). Annual Report 2016. Retrieved from: content.htm
    3. Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka (2014). Monthly allowance for the students of national collages of education will be increased up to 4000 rupees from the next year. Retrieved from &Itemid=1055
    4. Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (2016). Labor Market, Information Bulletin. Volume 02/16. Sri Lanka: Colombo
    5. Innovative Strategies in Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Accelerated Human Resource Development in South Asia: Sri Lanka. (2014). Retrieved from
    6. UNESCO-UNEVOC (2018). World TVET Database: Sri Lanka. Retrieved from:
GDP (billions) $82.238 billion (Nominal: 67th, 2016 est.)
GDP Per Capita $3,849 (nominal; 2016)
Currency Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) = 100 cents
Major Exports textiles and apparel, pharmaceuticals, tea, spices, diamonds, emeralds, coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish
Major Imports textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment
Major Industries processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; tourism, shipping; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining, information technology services, construction
Major Export Partners United States 26.1%, United Kingdom 9%, India 7.2%, Germany 4.3% (2015)
Major Import Partners India 24.6%, China 20.6%, UAE 7.1%, Singapore 5.9%, Japan 5.7% (2015)
Foreign Exchange Reserves $7.2 Billion
Inflation 6.9%
Population below Poverty Line 4.3%
Gini Coefficient 36.4% (2015)
Competitiveness Rank 71st
Ease of Doing Business Rank 110th (out of 190)
Employment Rate 95.7% (2016, est.)
Unemployment Rate 4.3% (2016, est.)

sri-lanka-presMaithripala Sirisena (

Type of Government Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
Head of State Maithripala Sirisena (President)
Head of Government Ranil Wickremesinghe (Prime minister)
Legislating Body/Bodies Sri Lankan Parliament

Sri Lankans

Time zone UTC +5:30
Human Development Index 0.757 (high, 73rdout of 180)
Literacy Rate 92.6% (men, 93.6%; women, 91.7%)
% of people with internet access 29.99% (6,212,431)
Life Expectancy 74.90 years (Males: 71.60, Females: 78.30)
Drives on the Left
Calling code +94
ISO 3166 code LK
Internet TLD .lk