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About the Program

The University of Peradeniya has a large community of students numbering close to 10,000 and a staff drawn from all walks of life.  It has a colourful history and a physical and institutional resource base to develop an inclusive and meaningful learning environment where social harmony could be a means as well as an end in higher education.  The review process identified several critical areas that need interventions.  The process by design, was participatory.  Students and employees of all levels of the university community were consulted when preparing the proposal.

The feedback from students and staff were synthesized to identify the major problems faced in relation to social harmony.  The poor interpersonal relationships between students and the staff as well as the image of the university in the public eye, the unrealized potentials of the formal curriculum, the insular nature of the university culture, the absence of proactive measures to develop a pluralistic community and the lack of emphasis in developing skills related to social harmony vital in today's context of development in Sri Lanka, the absence of a grievance redress mechanism that result in continuity of conflicts among staff as well as the absence of a strong institutional mechanism to focus attention on social harmony in the university activities were major constraints for which interventions have been identified.

Ragging, poor standards of management practices of student associations, and the poor institutional response to manage change in a dynamic society, are major challenges that need to be overcome.  The multi-cultural and diverse student and staff community as well as the external community, provide low cost opportunities for enhancing the learning environment with some planned interventions.  Helping by providing formal training in areas such as human rights, management, conflict resolution, diversity management, are incorporated as major interventions into the project. 

The activities proposed are in different categories addressing the major beneficiaries - students, staff, external community and the university as an organization.  Wherever possible methods of mainstreaming the efforts of the IRQUE project were identified to ensure continuity beyond the project period.  The individuals and structures responsible for the project activities have been identified.

However, after several rounds of discussions held with Persons-in-Charge (PIC) of the Social Harmony component, Director / Local Technical Secretariat and university authorities regarding the implementation of this component, it was decided to revise the original proposal, project implementation plan (PIP), Procurement Plan (PP) and Disbursement Plan (DB) in order to make the program more relevant, effective and also to overcome some difficulties foreseen in the implementation.  Based on the revisions and modifications suggested during these meetings, a revised list of activities and sub-activities was prepared. The revised activities and sub-activities were then discussed with relevant stakeholders to get their views on proposed activities and also to ascertain the importance and feasibility of implementation.  

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