Twenty first century belongs to knowledge age, where acquisition, possession and application of knowledge is the most important resource. In this society world has changed from doing things to knowing things. It is a learning society committed to innovation.
There is risk of growing gap between advanced countries at the forefront of creating and using that knowledge, and developing countries, which have more limited means to take advantage of potential of rapid development and use of knowledge. Effective use of knowledge, broadly defined to include policy and technical knowledge, can have major impact on economic growth and development.
According to a recently published document by World Bank titled “Building the Sri Lankan
Knowledge Economy” highlights the Knowledge Economy issues that confront Sri Lanka and offers some options that will allow the island to move towards a knowledge based economy.
According to World Bank, simply adopting existing technologies widely available in developed countries can dramatically boost economic growth and productivity.
The knowledge economy consists of four pillars:
(i) The business environment;
(ii) Information infrastructure;
(iii) An innovation system; and
(iv) Human resources (Education).
More public resources should be allocated to R&D and improving the incentive system in Sri lanka’s universities and research institutes. Linkages between academia and the private sector should be increased, and the level of red-tape in the university system should be decreased.
More students should be encouraged to enter science and technology courses. At the lower levels the curriculum could be improved by focusing on how children learn rather than what they learn. Introducing problem solving skills and entrepreneurship at an early age will help reorient future graduates early on.