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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2612

Study to determine basic awareness of economic concepts among students In Sri Lanka– A case of Undergraduates

By Dr Nalin Abeysekera & Deepal Bataduwaarchchi

It is absolutely vital that citizens of a country gain some knowledge on the important Macro variables of a country. This should not only be limited to those who follow subjects in Economics stream, be it the students of any other discipline or average person of a country it is imperative that they have some idea of Macro Economic factors like, annual growth rate of a country, income per capita, rate of inflation, rate of un-employment etc.

Having basic idea of economic statues of a country helps a person in many ways. Not only for those who engage in studies, but also for professionals, average persons, having basic awareness of the above stated areas is a must. Be in tune with the Macro Economic statues of a country is an advantage for any person irrespective of the kind of studies or the profession the person engages in. For an example a manager of a firm having a sound knowledge in economy enables him/her to make effective business decision. Further, any person with some knowledge in economic aspects is in a better position to make sound decisions in his/her day to day life than a person who has no knowledge in these areas. Therefore it is necessary, absolutely vital a person to be knowledgeable in economy and dimensions of economy in the country.

Obviously for a person gain general knowledge on important aspects/areas of a country, adequate amount of reading is essential. In Sri Lankan society, the habit of reading is not something common. Leave alone the average persons, even those who engage in education, reading habit is a rare commodity. Among those that engage in higher studies too, reading habit is lacking. Naturally lack of reading makes a person poor in knowledge. This truth could be easily grasped when one tries to engage in a constructive, productive discussion with others. This weakness is all the more visible among those who engage in education. In a classroom for a teacher or a lecturer to have a constructive, productive engagement with students, on any given subject area is difficult. The present day students are not armed with basic knowledge that is necessary for them to shine among any given group of people. The present generation engage in studies with the prime intention of obtaining a paper qualification and then to find employment. There is no extra effort by the students to go beyond the relevant subject matter and acquire sufficient general knowledge which will help them to become more refined.

Hence this research has been carried out to measure the level of knowledge of those who engage in studies in relation to major macro variables of this country. The leading variables that have been considered for the study are;

* Economic Growth Rate.

* Rate of Inflation.

* Rate of Unemployment.

* Per Capita Income.

Because of the importance the following research problem has been advanced.

What is the basic awareness of economic concepts among undergraduate students in Sri Lanka?

This scope of the study has been narrowed down into Undergraduate students in Sri Lanka.

Answers were sought from the students for the under mentioned questions.

1. Economic Growth rate in Sri Lanka in last year (or 2013, previous year)

2. Rate of Inflation in Sri Lanka in last year (or 2013, previous year)

3. Rate of Unemployment in Sri Lanka in last year (or 2013 ,previous year)

4. Per capita Income in Sri Lanka in last year (or 2013, previous year)

Random sampling method was used to select the students. Hundred students were interviewed.
Following is the composition of students which were selected according to streams.

Table one-Specialization area of students

Table Two -Awareness level of students within streams

Specialization

Number of students

Science

23

Mathematics

22

management

30

Arts

25

According to table two it can be observed that the awareness of Economic Growth rate in Sri Lanka is higher in the students in management discipline with 47 percent. This is followed by students in Arts stream(40%) ,Mathematics(36%) and Science(35%).The same scenario can be seen in other questions such as Rate of Inflation in Sri Lanka in last year(Management 33%,Arts 32%, Mathematics 27% and science 22%), Rate of Unemployment in Sri Lanka in last year(Management 27%,Arts 24%,Mathematics 22% and science 21%).Nevertheless the awareness of Per capita income in Sri Lanka the undergraduate from mathematics have received higher grade than Arts(27% for mathematics and 24% in arts).By considering the overall analysis it can be observed that 53% of Management ,60% Arts,64% Mathematics and 65% science students do not have any idea about economic growth rate of the country. And more importantly 70% of Management, 76% Arts, 73% Mathematics and 83% science students find it difficult to answer the question on per capita income.

Conclusion

As per the survey done by researchers it is clear that awareness level of key economic measurements among undergraduate students are really low in Sri Lanka. This will give a strong picture on current level of awareness in Sri Lanka in some sensitive areas of economy. On other hand this will question the current level of education of the country. And for policy implications it is important to have some practical sessions on current trends in economy in country as well as global measurements within University level. Especially those can be introduced as separate sessions like workshops to students who follow science and mathematics specialization streams at Universities. And also the findings of the study will question the awareness of major economic indicators among general public at large of the country as well.

- Asian Tribune -

Questions

Science

Mathematics

Management

Arts

 

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

1. Economic Growth rate in Sri Lanka in last year

8

35

8

36

14

47

10

40

2. Rate of Inflation in Sri Lanka in last year

5

22

6

27

10

33

08

32

3. Rate of Unemployment in Sri Lanka in last year

5

21

5

22

8

27

6

24

4. Per capita income in Sri Lanka in last year

4

17

6

27

9

30

6

24

diconary view
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