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English compulsory for University

15 February 2011 03:00 pm - 64     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The decision to make English compulsory for university entrance from this year is a grave challenge to a student’s right to free education, the Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) said today.
“A large number of issues exist with regard to teaching English in several schools countrywide. Hence, we believe it is an extremely biased decision resulting in injustice to students,” CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said. 

“It is undeniable that schools in rural schools in particular suffer immensely due to the lack of facilities for learning English. And this decision will lead to thousands of children losing their opportunity to carry out their higher education.”

Mr. Jayasinghe said that although English language learning was important, yet it was unjustifiable to curb students from entering high education based solely on fluency in English. “This decision makes the Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake’s systematic attempts to privatize higher education quite evident. If the Minister and the authorities fail to cancel this decision, they would definitely have to face the dire consequences that would arise,” he said. (Lakna Paranamanna)

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  Comments - 64

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  • zeenah Wednesday, 16 February 2011 03:48 AM

    this is a very good decision taken by ministry of higher education.

    citizen1 Wednesday, 16 February 2011 04:08 AM

    After that what do yo propose we do? Hide under a rock?

    AA Wednesday, 16 February 2011 04:09 AM

    Had they taken this decision earlier, the students would have been benefited today.........

    citizen1 Wednesday, 16 February 2011 04:10 AM

    BTW how come you are writng in English? Shouldn't you practice what you preach?

    Tissa Wednesday, 16 February 2011 04:12 AM

    as a graduate, in assesment this is a very very timely decision, wise, decision. now this globle language is the most important, if the student can pass the A/L passing english is nothing, they can do it, learning language is not difficult task, if necessary thay can do self learning, CTSU should not bother about it.

    in my assesment, as the higher education minister Mr.S.B.Disanayaka , this is the most wisest/intelegent disicion he has taken for the nation, we can see the benifits of this decision in long term.

    student Wednesday, 16 February 2011 10:23 PM

    hmmm.. put that way you seem to have a point..

    Konde bendapu china Wednesday, 16 February 2011 04:57 AM

    Very good move,

    Jayasiri Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:08 AM

    This will surely shut the door for students who have no exposure to English. Students in cities have access to TV, people who use English etc. The students in rural areas have no English teachers and rarely have access to enviornment where they can practice English. The best way is to make English an optional language to be studied at the university. Every person has a right to learn in his own language. In some sense this is a blatant violation of fundamental right!

    PRESIDENT Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:12 AM

    Most of the Graduates from universities can not find good jobs in private organization due to English Language also our Graduates failed to face challanges and get jobs in forign countries due to language specially weak in english. The move is not to put them in trouble but to enhance thier level of capability and managing ability.

    DireStraits Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:16 AM

    Buwa is correct. first give every kid an equal chance to access English education then make it compulsory. I would also like the moron ahem... minister to spell out this policy in English Live on TV. I bet it will be be fail! Nan, on the other hand, so far no 'great minds' have come to light either.

    aman Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:19 AM

    wtf??? Nationalism? this is about education.. wht on earth would the kids do once they pass out studying in Sinhala or Tamil? Who will give them jobs? to compete in the international arena they should have at least a basic knowledge of English. This is a brilliant move... what's annoying is people like you who want to make a noise for everything.

    DireStraits Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:26 AM

    Rubbish... Instead I say, learn Chinese. That's where things are going to happen in the future.

    Brett LEE Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:25 AM

    It is a proven fact that the best years to learn languages is between 5-10 years of age. However since 1956 our education system was cleansed of "Proper" English systematically by the politicians. Now some wise guy thinks it is apt to require English knowledge to enter university when there are hardly any capable English teachers in schools. This is nothing new; we as a nation have been trying to do most things minus the infrastructure. Best example is the cricket ground in Hambanthota. Does anyone know how many hotel rooms are available there? The ground has a 30 000 capacity but around 6000 hotel rooms! Compare this with the English for University entrance, when not even 10% of the schooling population has access to proper English education. You reap what you sow and people get rulers they deserve! cheers

    Faqi Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:26 AM

    Its 50 years too late, its like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    TanSyn Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:29 AM

    I also passed out from a local university and like you, I was blessed to be born into a family where English was spoken often. Like you, at the time, I felt there would be some injustice if English was brought in as a major criterion, but now, looking at my friends, I really wish they had made English a core subject. Many of my friends who passed out really well are going for Spoken English classes at the age of 29 -30, and they are losing valuable time. They are also looking back and wishing the university did something drastic at the time to prepare them. In an ideal world, this change should be gradual, but since we are not living in one, change has to come in at someone's expense, for betterment.

    aman Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:35 AM

    If it's to pass General English, that should not be a problem for a person who has absolutely no knowledge in English. I Remember doing my English paper a few years back.. it's definitely not tough to get a simple pass... They had pictures of someone watering the plants, cooking, and running.. etc and then sentences describing the picture.. and we just had to match the sentence with the pic.. I doubt these question won't appear even in a preschool exam in other countries.. It's a disgrace if someone can't make an effort to learn the basics of English..

    Seriously... think about people who go and work in places like Japan, China, Russia.. we do learn foreign languages without anyone's help.. on our own ya? why can't these students make an effort and learn? it's for their own good... the better they speak in English, the more exposure they'll have and more opportunities they'll create in getting a good break in their own industry..

    TanSyn Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:32 AM

    It maybe a blatant violation of fundamental rights, but then no one should ever blame the govt when they can't find jobs. Even if students are to find work in the government, computer systems, letters, working with the media, working with the international community is all done in English. I'm not saying it is just - I'm only saying that one group of people will have to go thru a tough time for a bit for everyone to benefit, including their own children.

    Chamalka Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:53 AM

    Screw Nationalism mate . we wouldn't end up exporting cheap labors to the middle east if our former leaders had some wisdom to provide education in English medium like how LKY did in Singapore .

    das Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:55 AM

    OK. Lets also stop teaching computer science and medicine and go back to our own eastern ways of doing things.

    Commonsense Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:58 AM

    If you can learn Chinese also it's a good opportunity for you.Because Chinese is the world most communicating language.Near future even in England, Chinese is the dominant language.

    Commonsense Wednesday, 16 February 2011 06:22 AM

    When I was learning in UK, lot of my friends asked come to Sri Lanka to learn complimentary medicine like Ayurveda. So I told them that courses may be teach in Sinhala and English mixed. So actually this type of native courses should be teach in English. So in future lot of attract in these fields. Because nowadays studying natural medicine is more popular in the world to search good health conditions.

    Shyamali Tuesday, 15 February 2011 03:02 PM

    How about French then?

    Yehiya-Doha Tuesday, 15 February 2011 03:26 PM

    First make it to Parliament.

    sltk2004 Wednesday, 16 February 2011 06:59 AM

    This is an international conspiracy to destroy Sinhala language and culture...

    Roshan Tuesday, 15 February 2011 03:26 PM

    DO some of OUR MINISTER HAVE ENGLISH KNOWLEDGE & smelled the air of university?

    I Hussein Tuesday, 15 February 2011 03:40 PM

    Now understand the gravity of it.
    UNP will be taken to gallows if they have proposed it by the fake patriots.

    Pawlpakse Wednesday, 16 February 2011 01:53 PM

    Totally agree.

    AJ - DXB Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:03 PM

    I dont know what will CWW Kannangara think of this

    palithaeka Wednesday, 16 February 2011 07:32 AM

    SB has taken a golden decision rectifying the costly mistake done by the Late Bandaranayake. Other countries higher eduction means higher and broad-based. Why worry, let the future generation study languages. At least they will see the world.

    Buwa Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:20 PM

    This is very unwise move.

    Instead make arrangements to make higher education English medium gradually.

    I Hussein Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:32 PM

    Now understand the gravity of it.
    Had UNP proposed this the fake patriots may have taken them to gallows.

    musthafa Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:27 PM

    Good and wise decision to make good product to face international Chllanges

    naseeff Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:45 PM

    It is fine but it needs a lot of planning. It needs to done in a systematic and gradual way so that we could take all students on board both rural and urban student communities: sometimes politicians eager to get their names behind all reforms They do not care what consequence it will have on rural student community.

    U. Kapila Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:06 PM

    This is a very unfair move. Any other country does not promote this type of activity. All other Asian (except India who has lots of issues related to language), Europe and African countries just use their mother language for university education. Even in Europe, small countries like Poland, Denmark, etc. still use their language in universities. Where is the nationalism?

    das Wednesday, 16 February 2011 07:59 AM

    Very realistic. The trend has to start somewhere. Let this be initiated and of course the cities will lead but eventually others would catch up

    Mushi Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:07 PM

    A good move. For rural students, it is difficult but not impossible and in this way, rural students can be encouraged of english as they will put serious efforts to learn it. Otherwise english will be limited to cities only.

    dpl Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:18 PM

    Mr Jayasinghe sinhalese is the official langauge in srilanka. by M r S W R D Bandaranayka. the MS chandra bandaranaya,s childran studies in englih medium they are in the global world.why you dicourage. the minister is very correct in his decision.MR Jayasinghe you wants childran live in well .srilanka all secondary school must teach english as a subject . parents and childran decide about the higher education. MR Jayasinghe please leave the subject open. srilankan students are finding very difficult in the westrn world.please do not talk a narrow politics,educated parents in village or colombo teach their childran english at home. better known to them.

    Dinithi Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:22 PM

    English is important and ideally should be a condition to receive the university degree. But using it as a qualification to get in is very unfair. So in future people with good english but poor knowledge of study contents could get in. This is certainly not the way to improve the english of graduates.

    JD Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:46 PM

    Good decision........ should make it compulsory form school level ....... then every student will benefit......

    Alipola Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:43 PM

    This is a conspiracy by the British! We need to remove english from our education system to protect our mother language!

    DSR-Neckar Tuesday, 15 February 2011 06:04 PM

    Very good move! With out basic knowledge in English, many graduates are still searching for jobs.

    Ruwan Ferdinandez Wednesday, 16 February 2011 08:25 AM

    How about SB's family language Achcharu language? If English was compulsory those days, SB would never have gone to the University.

    Mr Retort Wednesday, 16 February 2011 08:28 AM

    If you want a SUBA ANAGATHE study english or else perish with Pseudo Nationalists

    Nan Tuesday, 15 February 2011 07:34 PM

    Buwa is right. alot of great minds will lose the opportunity to come to light because of this.

    VPS Tuesday, 15 February 2011 08:59 PM

    Alipola you are day dreaming, hope still you are inside the well. come out and see which nationality know our language.
    Before maths , english is need to know the world.

    Antonan Tuesday, 15 February 2011 09:03 PM

    Can this minister joker talk proper English?

    Simple Sydney Tuesday, 15 February 2011 09:40 PM

    Dire consequences? Isn't this a threat? Haven't people been severely punished for less?

    Yehiya-Doha Wednesday, 16 February 2011 12:37 AM

    This is not the way. What is the percentage representing univercities. Best way is starting from school.

    ampare son Wednesday, 16 February 2011 01:18 AM

    did you came from angoda

    MR Wednesday, 16 February 2011 01:36 AM

    CTSU should find jobs to all the unemployable Sinhala only speaking graduates first before coming up with more stupid protests

    Bands Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:33 AM

    You must be still living in the 1950s, China just beat and reached the 2nd position in the world economy, and today the demand to learn english in China is much more than anywhere in the world. We are frogs in wells and remain to be frogs for ever. Even to link to the rest of the world through the web, we need some knowladge of english. Wake up Sri Lanka

    student Wednesday, 16 February 2011 02:11 AM

    I am a student at one of our universities. From what I remember, the actual proposal was to make it compulsory for everyone to SIT for the General English paper if they wanted to enter university, not for everyone to PASS it. However, if it is a pass that is compulsory, that would extremely unfair. Many of my batch mates are extremely intelligent people and the only reason they are not fluent in English is because they had no teachers to teach them at school. The only reason I have some fluency is because of where and to whom I was born - hardly because of my own effort. How can we penalize students for what is essentially a failure of the education system? This is something which they have no control over.

    Lanka Putha Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:43 AM

    If you guys are so keen learning English why shouldnt you make Englisg as official language?

    Cobra Wednesday, 16 February 2011 02:07 AM

    Not a wise move I'd say. This change over should be a gradual process but our supposed to be wise men act like bulls in a China shop as usual-snap decisions without a thought for the repercussions that would entail.On the other hand this could be a viscous plan to cut the number of students entering the University. Who knows with these humbugs!

    Pp Wednesday, 16 February 2011 02:08 AM

    I believe competency in English language is a must for these students if they are to move ahead (not only for entry but throughout). If not no jobs in private sector and the dependency is more on the public sector. We all know the bad cycle that starts from there.

    If SL was strong as China or India we could've survived with our own language, but still people in China or India are actively learning English because they know it is a key to hold the western world.

    Lanka Putha Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:46 AM

    I agree with you cent percentage. I think we should ban english in Srilanka. Jayawewa

    Srith Wednesday, 16 February 2011 06:20 PM

    Great decision consider present reality,,,
    One language (English) in many voice in World!!!
    Hence We can be proud of our excellent education system

    he Wednesday, 16 February 2011 02:47 AM

    Good plan, but the reality is that there simply aren't enough qualified english teachers to make this possible.

    xlntgson Wednesday, 16 February 2011 10:00 AM

    When and where to start? Better late than never!

    xlntgson Wednesday, 16 February 2011 10:01 AM

    Sarcastic? What about much flaunted trilingualism?

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