Sri Lanka Crisis: Government announces schools shut down due to power shortage

19 June, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

Sri Lankan government declared on Saturday that all schools will be closed for the next week

In the midst of an unparalleled economic crisis, the Sri Lankan government declared on Saturday that all schools will be closed for the next week.

“All government and government-approved private schools in Colombo city boundaries, as well as schools in other important cities in the other provinces, would be closed throughout the next week owing to protracted power disruptions,” the Sri Lanka Education Ministry stated.

Sri Lanka Education Ministry Secretary Nihal Ranasinghe has requested schools to offer online lessons and has stated that schools at the divisional level would be permitted to hold classes with fewer pupils if transportation issues do not impede students, instructors, or administrators.

He further declared that the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has decided not to have power interruptions from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on weekdays to promote online education.

Sri Lanka, historically an upper-middle-income country, has been mired in an economic crisis that has lasted since the country won independence in 1948.

A political crisis has erupted, resulting in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s brother Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation as Prime Minister and the nomination of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s Prime Minister.

In May, food inflation was 57.4 percent, and there are still severe shortages of vital food commodities, as well as fuel for cooking, transportation, and industry, as well as regular power outages.

Due to a scarcity of basic ingredients for manufacturing, an 80% devaluation of the currency since March 2022, a lack of foreign reserves, and the country’s failure to pay its international debt commitments, the economy is expected to collapse sharply.

Food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health care have all been impacted by the economic crisis.