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Weekly Wrap - 20th Dec


Why can’t we escape the factory model education of the 19th and 20th century? Should we start creating forests in Colombo? Read our weekly wrap to know all about it.

Should we have forests in Colombo? Dubai has its own indoor rainforest now. India is creating mini-forests in all big cities following the ‘Akira Miyawaki’ method while Brazil, the home of Amazon forest, is doing the same. China which is creating forests in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai at a rate is in the process of building a fully-fledged forest city. Once completed, the Liuzhou  Forest City will have all its buildings covered with plants. It’s slated to absorb some 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 57 tonnes of pollutants and produce nearly 900 tonnes of oxygen annually. Besides, Shanghai has started unveiling a forest city comprising offices, schools and homes with built-in trees.  Shall we have forests in Colombo, too?


Educators worldwide are striving and scrambling frantically - to create “21st-century schools”, but sadly, many just cannot seem to escape their factory model, 19th-20th-century paradigms.

Granted, it is an enormous paradigm shift, escaping the factory model of education. However, taking a few labels or buzzwords co-opted from the 21st-century rhetoric onto the large factory model does not make a school 21st century. Thus one cannot use factory models of the west ideal for Sri Lanka. We have to invent what is good to solve our problems  — but paradoxically, what is stressed on is only Formal Education. How can you move beyond this? Here are a few goals for education beyond the 21st century.


There is a gendered aspect to remittances in Sri Lanka, with relatively little known about the finer details. Most remittances to Sri Lanka are still sent out of necessity by migrants who have family left behind. But, with the promotion of skilled migration for higher paid jobs, skilled migrants often leave as a family, with no one behind to receive remittances. For this group of migrants, remitting is often optional. What has gender got to do with the value of remittances? Read more, here.


LEGO wants to build a new way to work, and has given hot-desking an upgrade. The toy firm has introduced “activity-based working” (ABW) by building individual spaces in its offices that are optimised for different types of work. Employees in Singapore, Shanghai and London can choose to work at fixed desks, soundproofed rooms for focus work, or casual spaces for meetings. The arrangement offers employees more freedom and ownership, LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen tells LinkedIn. But even ABW has its faults, with some workers reporting a weaker sense of belonging.


What more would you like to read about? Let us know in the comments.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Aisha Nazim

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