A World Bank loan of 100 million U. S. dollars is to be used to develop soft skills in 5000 schools countrywide, a minister said here on Thursday.
Cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told media that loan negotiations are scheduled to be held at the end of October with the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank to obtain this financial assistance.
Titled "Transforming School Education System as the Foundation of a Knowledge Hub Project", the 100 million U.S. dollars will be used to teach school children soft skills such as English and information technology, said Rambukwella.
He said it is also expected to bridge regional disparities between schools in urban and rural areas.
The minister said even though Sri Lanka has a literacy rate of 92 percent there is a mismatch between the education system and the needs of the job market.
He said already 320 secondary schools and 1200 primary schools have been identified for development in 2012 in association with the provincial councils.
The rest is to be developed within a period of five years, according to the World Bank program.