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Title: Educational equality and post-colonial elites : a case study of Sri Lanka
Author: Barham, P. R.
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1984
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In 1960-61 most of the independent schools in Sri Lanka were nationallsed without compensation. It was widely belleved that this was another phase of Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalism which sought to remove the vestiges of Christian colonialism, but the government represented its action as part of a movement to equalise educational opportunity. However, the legislation did not include the categories of school at the extremes of the socio-economic scale, and they could continue much as before. This dissertation is a case study in comparative perspective of the events which led to the nationallsation policy being adopted. The first part identifies and examines the problem to which the legislation was proposed as a solution. Using Gaetano Mosca's theory of elites an explanation Is offered for the social change which occurred in Sri Lanka after 1956 and which introduced SinhaleseBuddhist norms of social Justice into the political arena. The normative change Is measured, and it Is suggested that In the context of a plural society the shift was towards 'welfarlsm' rather than towards 'egalitarianism'. By relating the normative change to a relative no-change In the school system, the educational problem is more clearl y defined. The second part of the study is an analysis of the formulation and adoption of the pollcy solution. In examining the conflicting aims and interests of the protagonists In the Sri Lankan democratic context, it is posited that though the government was obliged to take account of the demands of its supporters, it none the less sought to protect the interests of its own class. The conclusion reached is that the nationalisation pollcy can be interpreted as an elitist solution in the Sinhalese-Buddhist tradition, and unlikely to have achieved the government's stated egalltarian aims.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available