The Condemned!

Since it has become a hotly debated topic in Sri Lanka, I have somewhat closely followed the ongoing wave of protests, both against &  in favour of South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) & as a complete outsider to the Medical Profession, I have found the lack of Analysis on display (from both Sides) to be a huge disappointment, especially since number crunching is what I do for living.

Therefore, I wish to go ranting on few details which I happened to find on internet. (Well, I happened to find them because I searched for them!)

Is Private Education the Solution for the aggravating problem of lack of opportunities for Higher Education in Sri Lanka?



As you can clearly observe, in the Year of 2010, out of the 265, 388 candidates who sat for GCE (A/L), 142,415 were able to reach the Qualification Levels required for Higher Education in their respective streams. (For the sake of argument, Bio, Maths, Commerce & Arts only) As it can be seen, 61.03% of the candidates were qualified for Higher Education.

Then comes the Real Problem. Let's check the Data on University Education.



Since it usually takes 03-04 Years to complete a General Degree within Sri Lankan University System, I have assumed that the a graduate who entered a Sri Lankan University would have graduated within 2013-2014.  (We all know that is not the case & it almost always gets dragged beyond 04 Years.) 

As we can see in Item No. 05, Total No. of Graduates in 2014 including External & Open Universities amounts only up to 24,559 thereby indicating the gravity of the Problem. Only 17.25% of the qualified candidates are allowed into the Government University System, simply because the Government is unable to make more room.  

So, the real problem is what are the remaining 117,856 candidates are supposed to do, when they have almost done all within their might to receive higher education? 

  • Is our society ready to accept Art, Music, Acting (Well, I have to admit, not what they do now on TV!), Photography, Sports (Other than Cricket) etc. as full time professions?
  • Are our alternative Vocational Training Institutes strong enough to cater a such demand in various sectors?
  • And at least are our Conservative Vocational Training Institutes are up to date with the changing needs of Sri Lankan Economy? 

Then to the more specific issue at hand..........

Is SAITM the god send when it comes to solving the Problem of lack of opportunities for Higher Education in Science sector? 

For this, I have had to make several assumptions. (Although I hate to admit it, some are wrong!)

First of all, I have assumed that all the candidates in Bio Stream graduate within 04 years of University Entrance. {Medical Students stay 05 years within University & spend another 01 year as interns. So, I had to either dig up GCE. (A/L) data of 2008,(for which I had no time as well as intention), or to find graduation data on 2016 (for which too, I had no time as well as intention).} But, just to simplify the equation I have assumed all the graduates who entered government universities in 2010, graduated in 2014. 

Secondly, since I could not find Student Qualification Data according to the four major streams, I have assumed that the distribution of Qualified Students among the four Major streams is as same as the Distribution of Graduates among the said streams. 




Thereby, I have assumed that 27% of the Qualified students belong to the Bio Science Stream.

Now, to the boring part.......

01.
A
No. of Total Students Qualified for University in 2010
142,415

02.
B
Assuming The Distribution among the Four Main Streams is as same as Among the Graduates,


% of Students Qualified  from Science Stream
27%

03.
C=A*B
Therefore,


No. of Students Qualified  from Science Stream
27% x  142,415


=38,452

04.
D
No. of  Graduates from Science Stream
6,587

04.
E=D/C
Graduates from Science Stream

 (% of Total Qualified)
6,587/38,452
=17%

05.
F=C-D
No. of Students who are Qualified but not getting the Opportunity of University Education
31,865

06.
G=F/C
Students who are Qualified but not getting the Opportunity of University Education (% of Total Qualified)
31,865/38,452

=83%


As we can see, a whopping 83% of the Qualified Student Population (Bio Science Stream) is unable to gain entrance to Government Universities due to lack of facilities.

Well, then lets see how SAITM tries to solve the problem by taking 02 Batches of 25 (I counted 23 in the Initial Batch photo of them) per year.

07
H
No. of SAITM Students Graduating per year
50

08.
I=H/F
SAITM Graduates as a % of Qualified but not Eligible Students
=50/31,865

0.16%

09.
J=H/C
SAITM Graduates as a % of all Qualified Students
=50/38,452

0.14%

10.
K=C-D-H
No. of Students who are Qualified but not able to gain Admission for Govt. University or SAITM
31,815

11.
L=K/F
Students who are Qualified but not able to gain Admission for Govt. Universities or SAITM
(% of Qualified Students)
=31,815/31,865

99.84%
Unaccounted for, during the PMC Discussion

So, as far as I am concerned, when compared with the gravity of the problem, choosing SAITM (or any other Private Educational Institute, for that matter) as the solution, is the problem.

Let's see "why?" next......


Is SAITM Feasible for the common?

Can we afford to buy (Sorry for the crude use of the word!) the Education offered by such an Institute?

For this, I would borrow data from Household Income Expenditure Survey carried out for 2012 & 2013.

Before unleashing Statistics on you, I think I will have to clear up the word Decile  for you. (Even Auto correct gives me Cecile, Docile & Decide) 

Well, this will additionally serve the purpose of re-affirming myself of what I am going to say. 

As it has been mentioned in the above Survey Report, the boundary values of the Deciles divide the population into even ten No. of groups. So, the first Decile holds the 10% of the population to which the lowest values of the distribution (Income/Expenditure) are attributed.  (In other words, since the population of Sri Lanka in 2012 is 20,359,459 (Wiki says it is) , the income of  2,035,946 people in the 1st Decile is less than 10,750 LKR)


Then, here are the Expenditure Characteristics of Sri Lankan Population as at 2012. 


Then, I came up with this Simple Calculation, based on the following assumptions.

  • Expenditure is proportional to the Income. (Those who earn the most, can afford to expend the most)
  • Every household in a Decile has the Income Expenditure characteristics of the Mean of the Decile


01.
A
SAITM Cost of Medical Education
Rs.  12,000,000.00

02.

SAITM Education Feasibility for 09th Decile

2.1
B
Mean Income
Rs.  68,681.00

2.2
C
Mean Expenditure
Rs.  63,004.00

2.3
D=B-C
Mean Saving
Rs.  5,677.00

2.4
E=A/D/12
No. of Saving Years Required
176
Not Feasible
03.

SAITM Education Feasibility for 10th Decile

3.1
F
Mean Income
Rs.  178,709.00

3.2
G
Mean Expenditure
Rs.  130,001.00

3.3
H=F-G
Mean Saving
Rs.  48,708.00

3.4
I=A/H/12
No. of Saving Years Required
20
Marginally Feasible


So, even the 10% of the Population with highest Income (& Expenditure) will have to Save for 20 Years if they are to send their beloved Son/Daughter to SAITM (or other, I'm Just using it because I am too lazy to type at this point) to become a Doctor.

Even if that 10% save such money, 

Assuming the Same Income Expenditure Distribution among the households of which Higher Education is an interest,

Number of the Maximum Possible Intake of SAITM            = 31,865*10%  = 3,187

Even if the above mentioned 3,187 attend SAITM, the number of Students still unaccounted for
                                                                        =31,865 - 3,187
                                                                        =28,678

So, my humble question is, "Is going private the only answer?, Who will accommodate the Condemned 28,678? "

Comments

  1. A very good explanation. I guess most who support SAITM hae no idea that business is not for the common man.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is nice to see you writing, after a long hiatus.

    I would answer with a question - Do all of the 28,678 need to become doctors? (what's the requirement of doctors? what's the capacity of medical faculties and medical facilities to grow)

    And, to be honest our vocational training is really good (There are NAITA trained hairdressers and bakers earning well in chain businesses). The only problem is how willing are people to take those opportunities (NAITA offer free vocational training courses, which I think are rarely fully booked).

    As such, in my opinion it boils down to the issue of the existence of social status. "Today during lunch break, Prof Chris Burgoyne joined the queue behind me."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Is our society ready to accept Art, Music, Acting (Well, I have to admit, not what they do now on TV!), Photography, Sports (Other than Cricket) etc. as full time professions?

      Are our alternative Vocational Training Institutes strong enough to cater a such demand in various sectors?"

      Well, those were my primary concerns.

      I must admit that all 28k odd wanting to be doctors is pretty far-fetched. Therefore, i must have used an average "cost" of the degree, not a high end value.

      or I must have cut down the population according to the requirement of doctors.

      But, BASICALLY WHAT I WANTED TO SHOW THAT WAS THE "ANYONE" SAITM ADMINISTRATION SAYS IS NOT JUST "ANYONE", BUT "ANYONE WITH 12 MIL".

      And thanks for bringing that up. That will lead to a Part - II, which will include the requirement of Doctors. Obviously, if any private organization can offer MBBSs, they will face the same plight of our graduate friends who are in the Telecom sector. More supply than the demand.

      Delete

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