Sri Lanka Vs Research culture – The real discussion
Thanks to the free education system prevailing in Sri Lanka particularly, it has always been a country with intellectuals doing wonders with knowledge and skills. Sri Lanka is also a proud country with a very high literacy rate and this is why news come from different parts of the world about Sri Lankans excelling in diverse fields, through new discoveries, researches and many more.
In such a country with many smart brains, how can you expect the research culture to be less popular among the academic and corporate sectors? Yes, today, we shall discuss about the real condition of researching culture in Sri Lanka, and its future as we see it.
Does Sri Lanka really face a lack of research?
No, basically Sri Lanka is not lacking researches. In the higher education system of Sri Lanka, many degree programs have been designed in such a way that undergraduates get the opportunity of exposing their selves for academic researches under the total supervision of lecturers. The researching culture that gets started from this stage then gets continued with their next academic qualifications including the post graduates and, once they enter to the corporate sector too, the research culture is mostly dealt with.
The problem is with taking these research efforts to the lime lights. In Sri Lanka, although the individuals who choose the academic paths to go up in the ladder (i.e.: as lecturers and tutors) know the value of a research, the others do not. This is exactly why many of the important researches out there, even though they have been done appropriately, do not go up to the extent of a symposium/ conference and the publications.
Thus, if Sri Lanka gets accused for not engaging in researches, that is because, there isn’t a way that the world gets to see the researches happening here for real. Not at all because Sri Lanka lacks researches.
How to take the Sri Lankan quality researches to the world?
In Sri Lanka, there are quite a lot of universities, both private and state, conducting research symposiums encouraging research efforts of undergraduates and graduates under various disciplines. Some of these universities also conduct conferences, both local and international, which are generally followed by publication processes. Only if a research gets presented at a conference and published in a journal or a conference proceeding- it gets known to the world.
At an international conference the researcher gets the opportunity to present his/her research outcomes to an international gathering and also paves the right way to get his/her research published in an international journal. Due to the growing need of this purpose, in addition to the universities and other higher educational bodies, conferences are also being organized by private organizations and the service done by them towards a brighter tomorrow of the Sri Lankan researcher is commendable.
What is the role of the researcher in establishing research in the country?
Researchers in Sri Lanka often under estimates their own selves and the work they do. This is why they do not pay a keen interest on taking their research insights to the world. Utilizing those research outcomes, a scientist from one corner of the world could come up with a perfect solution to eradicate your problem discussed in your research, or a new policy could get implemented by the regulatory bodies, and you may never know.
Thus, the role a researcher plays in the country should be solid and prominent and that should really inspire the researchers of tomorrow too. They should not see researching as another hassle in their lives and avoid it all the time. Instead, they should see what really is being done by a researcher and what a value addition he/she makes to his/her own self, to the society and to the name of the country at large.
*So, young researchers out there, this is your call to inspire the fellow researchers and the younger generations. Be proud for being a researcher, a value adding person to the society and an inspirer. Do more and more productive researches, and take them to the world as much as possible. Use international conference opportunities and never miss the publication opportunities that come along with them.
Sri Lankan researcher is not really alone. Organizations the likes of TIIKM are always there to guide you to present your research efforts in front of an international gathering and then to get it published on international journals. If financials is the problem for you, you may sometimes utilize the university grants or even try sponsorship schemes that are available to help you out.
Of course, you will never know what opportunities do really await you, until you try them one by one. Take the chance and go for it. The future belongs to the ones who chase success beyond all closed doors. Good luck, and you can do it!
Isanka P. Gamage