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National Innovation Centre opens in Narahenpita

President Maithripala Sirisena receiving the token of appreciation from Minister Chandima Weerakkody. Skills Development and Vocational Training Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana looks on. Picture by Sudath Malaweera.

The government has prioritised to develop skills of young entrepreneurs and innovators who can take the country forward.

Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Chandima Weerakkody said the government has decided to give priority to the skills sector education, which includes vocational training and technical education.

Weerakkody addressing the opening of the National Innovation Centre (NIC) set up by the National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) in collaboration with Malaysia’s Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Narahenpita said "We must open our avenues for Sri Lankan youth to think to be creative; to guide them on how to be creative,"he said.

The Center was opened by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday.

This center will create a conducive environment for empowering the future generation with the demanding entrepreneurial skills along with modern technology, innovation and creativity. We expect to sharpen creativity that is hidden in a youth by training them the proper way and giving them good exposure in the job market,” Minister Weerakkody said.

He said most of the youth across the world are earning for themselves with their innovations. We must also create such a situation here,” he added.

The Sri Lankan education sector needs to break away from exam-based school education and stereotypical academic education. The World can be changed based on innovations and not based on conventional thinking. Innovations are made possible by the people who get direct

ideas and act on them. Therefore, we have to outside the box when it comes to the education and give prominence for the innovations.

The government has given prominence for a comprehensive programme to provide vocational training to students who are not selected to enter local universities. Budget 2018 will make more allocations for this programme in a bid to empower youth in economically.

Skills Development and Vocational Training Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said creativity and innovation are two of the most crucial competencies currently in demand in the job market. They play a vital role in human and economic development. "The new center will help the younger generation design their own future, help them build their own international network and pave the route for high-income careers."he added.