Everybody needs to manage their finances and thus accountancy is important for everybody, was the advice given by P M Katipearachchi, a student from Mahinda Vidyalaya, Galle who topped the All Island Commerce Stream at the GCE Advanced Level. He was among the top 10 to receive scholarships from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) in Colombo last week.
He said that accountants perform a value addition role by properly managing finances. He said that by becoming an accountant the person could become a leader in the country and urged all the scholarship winners to become Chartered Accountants so that they could serve the country as leaders and to manage country's finances towards development.
Ms Ratnalatha Dissanayake, Piliyandala Zonal Director of Education (Commerce) said the government could do very little for higher education in the country. She said while there is a very big competition in the educational stream in the country, last year 250,000 passed the GCE Advanced level Examination and 100,000 were eligible for university admission but only 20,000 opportunities were available in the country's universities. Thus only 10% of the AL qualified get government support for higher education.
Out of the balance another about 10% would be able to find places in the Accountancy field, but around 75% of those AL qualified would be on the road as the government is unable to support their higher education.
She said to overcome this imbalance, the government is now pushing ahead the setting of private universities in Sri Lanka.
Sujeewa Mudalige, President, ICASL impressed by the speech given by student Katipearachchi, in addition to his formal speech told the scholarship recipients the importance of learning English and the courage and determination one should possess to become a Chartered Accountant.
Giving an example he said that there was a very poor student from the provinces who won a scholarship to do Chartered Accountancy and this genial student despite being poor did well. Mr Mudalige said that encouraged by the determination and dexterity of this student they also helped him in every possible way.
What was so brilliant in this student was that when he joined he had no knowledge of English. But when the student passed out as a Chartered Accountant, he was proficient in English that was better than (mine), said Mr Mudalige.
He said that not only in accountancy, but also in many fields this student was excellent. He said that they arranged for him to get a job in England, with just only a telephone interview and this student is now the head of a large British organization drawing a seven digit salary. Giving this example Mr Mudalige emphasized that if one has the determination and capacity to work hard, poverty is no barrier.
ICASL awarded full scholarships to 40 GCE AL qualified students, 10 each from the categories of Commerce, Arts, Med/Bio Science and Eng/Physical.