Dr. (Mrs.) E.L.S.J. Perera obtained her PhD in Demography at the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand, in 2009 under NCAS grant scheme. She explored timely important aspect of international labour migration in Sri Lanka, by focusing on how parental international labour migration impacts on education of children left-behind. Her supervisors were Associate Professor Aree Jampaklay, Associate Professor Rosalia Sciortino and Associate Professor Aree Prohmmo.
Her study reveals that parents’ migrating for foreign employment make a significant contribution in improving the education of their children compared to children of non-migrants. Concerning whether mother or father migration has greater positive effect, she discovers that the father’s migration for overseas has a larger positive outcome on both child’s enrolment and the quality of education than the mother’s overseas migration. Investigating the processes and mechanisms which operate towards such positive results, she finds that extended family support, and kinship relations, parents’ frequent communication with children and other form of social capital make significant contributions for children to continue their education in the absence of father or mother. Her research findings are vital in addressing policy implications of parental migration and children left-behind in Sri Lanka. For her study, she utilized data from the Sri Lanka Population and Housing Census, and qualitative data from a field research that she conducted in 2008, in Kalutara district in Sri Lanka.