9 December, 2021

Blog

I’m A ‘Victim’ Of Sinhala Medium Education

By Anushka Kahandagama –

Anushka Kahandagama

The departing point of the article is the statement made by Rathana Thero ‘Teaching Students From Grades 1-5 In English Should Stop’. He bases this argument on the (ill)logic, ‘If a child is given a primary education in a language other than their mother tongue, that child would not be a citizen of that country’. This argument holds illogical, and I do not see a way to even build an argument over this statement. With all due respect, as per Rathana Thero, the ‘citizenship’ of the child is based not even on his/her ability to use the mother tongue, but making the medium of primary education child’s mother tongue.   The second argument he makes based on the ‘mother tongue’ patriotism is, national unity should be achieved through making the mother tongue medium of education. 

While we are aware of the fact that, 13 years or more English education is an utter failure in the public education in Sri Lanka, can we expect a miracle of teaching a language after grade five? Either the system did not want us to learn the English language properly, as it is a prerequisite to maintain the gaps between social classes, or we were fed as children that, English is a language not suitable to our ‘culture’. Either way, many of us failed in engaging with the English language. However, throughout my life, in studies as well as in carrier, I have regret in not having the opportunity to learn in English medium. I have seen much potential in Sri Lankan students, which dissolves due to the lack of English language ability. We like it or not, English is the international language, and we have to accept it. The global knowledge production is basically in the English language, and we as students are incapable of competing on the global level, not because we lack intelligence, merely due to the lack of English language skills. When making statements such as “Teaching Students From Grades 1-5 In English Should Stop”, one should not misuse the power held by the ‘robe’ to mislead the nation in one second.  Throughout history, we have seen this power of the ‘robe’ which led or contributed the nation towards wars, conflicts, riots or communal tensions. 

Let’s go back to the first argument again about producing ‘pure Sri Lankan citizens’ by making mother tongue the sole medium of primary education. If you are entrapped in the island with your precious language, what is the need you to especially become the ‘citizens’ of the country? Anyways, you will be imprisoned on the island forever, as you do not get any opportunity outside the country as it is impossible without the English language. Thus, there is no need for you to be present yourself as a Sri Lankan, as you would only get rare opportunities to present the country out in the world.

The second argument he makes is ironic about the national unity. As a person who has seen the history than me, Thero knows that he is proposing a system which is already in place for many decades, which is Tamil/ Muslim students learning in Tamil medium and Sinhala students learn in Sinhala medium. This has led the country towards bloody separatist conflict for many years, while Sinhala medium students participated in two youth insurrections in 1971 ad 1988, due to lack of job opportunities for Sinhala medium student. Thero does not propose a new system which can deal with the national unity, but an already existing system which caused many problems mainly due to language. 

Finally, this type of an education system, which Thero is proposing, would have adverse effects on students like us who are coming from lower-middle-class or rural areas. The damage it did to my entire carrier is undoubtedly immense and can not be repaired, and I know that I am not alone in this disadvantage, but there are thousands of Sri Lankan students who are struggling to achieve their full potential with lack of English language skills. The proposed policy would sustain the class structures forever in the country and will only favorable to nationalist politics which is an advantage to a political minority who wants to hold power in the Island forever. 

*Reading for MPhil/PhD in Sociology, South Asian University, New Delhi

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Latest comments

  • 21
    3

    Dear Anushka Kandagama,

    It is the education in the mother tongue, Sinhala and Tamil, that had caused the Sinhala as Dinhala, Tamils as Tamils, Muslims as Muslims etc. and the inability to communicate between them, that has caused the Sinhala and Ramils as Sinhala and Tamils and not Sri Lankans as was clearly shown after the Sinhala only act.

    May be to unify the country, Sinhala and Tamil should be banned.

    Then all the Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils and other Paras will communicate in Para-English and will not fight each other.

    A language is a medium of communications. In Sri Lsnka, it is a medium for crimes.

    A Land like no other.

    • 6
      0

      Amarasiri – corruption has no language barrier —its universal all politicians understand it

      • 3
        0

        Rajesh,

        While corruption is common to all, they do not kill each other for language as they do in Sri Lanka, and globally for race and religion.

        Per Karl Marx, “Religion is the opium of the masses”, delivered by the Monks, Priests, Ulama, Mullahs and even politicians, but in the Land like No Other, it is the Language, in addition to the Religion.

        • 1
          0

          Agreed.

          Hence Hon SJV looked at the ‘Indian Workers’ related Citizenship act issue in a newly born Country (where they were placed in the plantation amongst Sinhalese in their heartland) argued for a Tamil cause??? Even formed a party for a Tamil cause such u=is the visionary part…….I wish he discussed the issue as a National issue requiring attention/Human rights issue for the workers but as a Tamil issue?? where North and East Tamil and the Elite did not give a toss about the workers rights/grievances ever?.

          Even after the Hon SJV took this case to Jaffna and wanted to win elections on a Tamil cause basis he was not elected………..a hard sell concept to the local Tamil speaking constituents.

          With the help of the Sinhala Racist discussions/elements came the ‘stupid’ discussions come the ‘I will retire doing this scenario’ as there was nothing else for this fold to do. No one cared for the Rural Sinhalese/Oppressed Tamils/Indian workers while these Lawyers made a living out of this ‘one and only subject’ alone whilst delivered nothing to the Nation in-terms of economical development post colonial life is the most audacious thing performed in a democracy I know of to date. Then came the next level of ‘morons’ of a politicians who took the matter to the next level of arming our children and took the democracy/media freedom to even greater heights never seen in the planet before.

          Where the majority of us the Sri Lankan be it a Tamil or Sinhalese fit into all this is yet to be established?????? lost so many Mother Lankan children to this folly……the same discussing the same s**** even after all this misery??? we are the most incapable/ slaved people in the world as a Nation do not know how to take care of this Mafia unqualified misfits out of our life?? we continue to elect them even for a constitutional change an impossible scenario in a majority/minority compostion yet these guys got elected on this manifesto once more?? .

      • 5
        0

        My suggestion is the reverse ………… All the Theros should be thought English from Grade 1.

        All the Theros should be thought English, French, Spanish, Russian, ………… and other philosophies in addition to Buddhism. ………. so they are educated enough to look at things “comparatively” …….. Teaching only Sinhala and Buddhism is akin to condemning them to live like frogs in a well. Give all of them a very good education.

        Pure Sinhala-Buddhism is to be stuck in pre-historic mind-numbing backwardness ……… the tragedy is, the self-serving pols, have allowed the clergy to hold the entire country hostage to their ignorance and backwardness.

        The irony is, Buddha, 2500 years ago, was a forward-thinking modern ………… an ultra-modern!

        The only realistic/practical way-out of this tragedy is to give all the theroes an excellent education.

        • 2
          0

          Correction

          thought —> taught

          I suppose I too need to study English …….. back to school.

    • 2
      0

      This solution is adopted in india

    • 2
      0

      Dear Anushka,

      In the happiness index, the Scandinavians are at the top. The bottom is at 150. Sri Lanka at 130 and India at 140.

      Sri Lanka has 20 more points of happiness left before it hits bottom, and earns the unhappiest country in the world.

      Need to thank the Monks, Politicians, Priests,Ulama and Mullahs, and of course the grass eaters who support them.

      The big question is when?

    • 3
      0

      Not so long ago, our country was the “pearl of the Orient,” an envy of the Developing nations with boasting rights to the best of progressive indices comparable to the best in the World. However, the monopolizing and subjugating intent with Swabhasha (yes – the bad Karma) brought everything to a standstill and worse, the country instead of exporting the best of Professionals such as doctors, engineers, accountants, teachers, nurses and other experts to the most progressive nations around the world (Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and so on) ended up having to bundle up our wives, sisters, mothers and daughters for menial jobs (due to no proper English education) in the Middle-East to the oil-rich Arabs, being exploited, abused, raped, humiliated and some of them comeback wrapped in plastics. If not for our stupid politicians who got rid of English and brought Swabhasha, today they would not be running around the world with begging bowls, all thanks to Banda! Banda’s own daughter had to come back after 25 years to repeal the Swabhasha idiocy! Still these idiotic politicians (disguised in robes) have never learned any lessons.

      • 0
        0

        Lanka,

        The mean IQ of the Paras, dominated by the Para-Sinhala, is 79. Of course based on the IQ distribution, quite a few would qualify to be professionals to contribute to the Land and outside the Land.

        Any disadvantage the Paras had in IQ was made worse by Sevala Banda, with the introduction of Para-Sinhala Only Policy. The rest is history, as you succinctly described.

        A Land like no other!

  • 4
    4

    If we have home grown technologies and self sufficient in country producing agricultural produces
    we can make other countries to learn the sri lanka language like japan and china, Every one had to created demand english because coming of tea rubber factories etc.railway and road construction. Opportunities were created for and for the English-educated, employment was readily available, and still continuation is needed to bind with international competence.

  • 9
    1

    Sister , Thank you for having the courage to write this article. The answer for this is pretty simple. It is nothing but stinking politics.Most of us are well aware of the impact caused by our regressive educational system primarily designed not by educationist but by crooked politicians. If (only)our Lankans could read and understand basic English, most of our shitheads today will be job hunting and not warming the seats in the parliament. It is easy to manipulate and exploit people when they know only one language, which is mostly used within the island. If English was allowed, with what ever restrictions in place, still the information will keep flooding.The rest about patriotism and nationalism are age old Lankan bullshit. The same politicians send their children abroad for higher education. The comments like “pure citizen????”, “not suitable for culture” are not just illogical but utter stupidity, idiotic and deceiving lies. Regarding national unity , which Lankans could not have in 70 years can be gained only by allowing students to have fluency in English. Knowing that, our politicians will try everything in preventing it. I have not heard such rubbish even in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or any middle east countries.(if at all they are promoting) They do try other gimmicks like giving official/state language status, need for job requirement but never tried messing up with education.Because they are well aware that English is needed for the growth and progression of their country.

  • 7
    0

    The goal of Lankan politicians is to create as many victims, who are totally dependent and at their mercy. So the goal is to keep them ignorant and eventually turn into hopeless, helpless and worthless citizens. This will give total control over citizens who are left with no choice, other than following their masters commands, as in slaves.

  • 21
    1

    I am 84 years old and started my education in the English medium form 1940 from the baby class.
    I am a good citizen of this country.

    • 0
      0

      Bindu,
      .
      We w.ish you all the very best. Fantastic you manage to add your thoughts to this page.
      :
      Greetings from Switzerland.

    • 2
      0

      It is just a problem of not being civilized enough is the problem of many lankens today.
      :
      Those who cant understand any langauges other than sinhala feel they ve been discriminated.
      :
      Best is to improve English Teaching practices at the schools.
      :
      Even president himself does not understand what PM RW or other edcuated ministers speak in ENglish: That seems to be the number one problem as some SM videos pointed out very clearly.
      :
      There are enough proofs, that President and several other ministers dont have the basic knowledge on any other lauguages. That makes them backbenchers in foreign forums.
      Actually they should not. French, Spanish, Portuguese and all non-English speaking leaders also not forgetting Chinese leaders, would never care about other langagues but very much rely on their interpreters.
      :
      Our Gonthadi Sirisena and Rajakshe should learn it from those leaders Basta

  • 20
    2

    Rathana Thero is stupid in portraying as a patriot to gain some score by using majority language as a issue. He does not have anything else to talk about. It is high time all the theros are chucked out of politics.

    • 6
      1

      Ad, you are right. These are wolves in sheep’s clothing

  • 15
    0

    Unfortunatley, this particular RATHANA THERO himself doe not what he has been talking about. These men coming from rural backgrounds have been suffering from inferior complex to the manner myanmar monks would face it. Very often to please few guys and to be on their books only the pseudo monk keeps making such statements.
    He should focus on the factual information of developed nations such as SWISS and Scandinavins. Most of them are well converant (bilingual too) and earn much respect across the europe in job markets.
    Rathanas FROG IN A WELL -politics as a whole, has not been consistent. It is really bane to see the kind of men let entering lanken politics. In 2015, the very same person, sounded as if he would not tolerate any kind of extremists in this country, but for the last few months, since his ego being damaged in that GLYPHOSAT ban-repeal issue, the estrange guy being hidden behind buddhist monks constume makes SANGAHOOD a laughing stock. The very same man is said to have LOVE partners (both men and women). Anyways, we cant know the truths of any of these rumours.

  • 15
    0

    Rathana thero’s suggestion is dumb, even by the standard of Sri Lankan politicians. It’s only better than the dumbest ever political decision to get rid of English as the country’s working language, at the expense of making Sinhalese the national language.

  • 8
    0

    In Sri Lanka all three languages should be declared as Official Languages and all citizens could decide on the medium of instruction from Grade 1.

    It could be the choice of the parents.

    • 5
      0

      Sri-Krish – Your idea is sensible. Probably the most popular. If it comes to pass there will be hardly any takers for Sinhala and Tamil streams. Besides, the availability of competent teachers locally will be an issue. I know sources within the government. for sometime now have been toying with the idea – sounding India for teachers. That may not be the best place to go to. But as they say “beggars can’t be choosers”

      Frank N. Stein

      .

  • 8
    0

    The ancient, well developed and strong Sinhala and Tamil languages can easily survive the somewhat minor “incursion” of English into education and other aspects of this country. As we all know, it was the scheming Sinhala politician who brought in Nationalism and Sinhala Only that undermined our English standards. They did that to oust the UNP Govt of then. After 50 years, we are trying frantically to regain the old standards. This will take a long time to realise. In the meantime we will have many Rathana Theros from the clergy and the political landscape preaching the same bogus mantra. We are not alone. Our cousins across the seas in Tamilnadu tried the same game there 50 years ago. But the smarter Tamil Brahmins and others held on to English using the argument the ancient Tamil language and culture will not collapse due to Tamils in the State learning a little bit of English. This argument won and Tamilnadu not only produces brilliant English teachers, writers and other professions for India’s well being as that of the world. The globally influential BBC (UK) CNN (USA) and CP24 (Canada) have many of their leading anchors and broadcasters of Tamil origin. Sri Lanka lost out here in recent decades – at least where BBC is concerned. Years ago names like Keshani Selvaratnam, David Alagiah, James Coomaraswamy were leading broadcasters to the world from the BBC. They were all of Lankan origin.

    R. Varathan

    • 0
      0

      Correction – Keshani Navaratnam. Apologies

      R. Varathan

      • 0
        0

        The names are: Keshini Navaratnam, George Alagiah, James Coomarasamy.

    • 1
      0

      R. Varathan

      Please watch Sinhala/Tamil TV.
      The presenters and participants speak either in Singlish or Thanglish.

      In India it is even worse. I was told by a Tamil professor that these were commercial decisions hence the producers are being forced to use Tamil creole and Sinhala creole is being widely used in this island, even after Suyapasa education was implemented more than 60 years ago.

      The suyapaasa language policy decision was based on cheap nationalistic reason and not for any addition of intrinsic value.

      Even the so called highly educated (bigoted) scholars are determined to deny the future generation the opportunity to learn languages on flimsy ground.
      It suits the agenda of racists, hypocrites, ……………………..

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native V

        Doubtless, you are aware NDTV from New Delhi maintains very high standards in
        English in their programmes. Our own English TV programmes, particularly the newscasts are reasonably good, I might add. I have also observed the quality of English of students from the more “elite” International Schools is just as good as what we were known for in the pre-1960 days. Has it got something to do with “class” My fear is unless the Govt succeeds in arresting this qualitative difference we might be against faced with a 1971 “Kaduwa” situation. An English-competent student class and one that is clearly not can widen the chasm leading to class and other conflicts. I am sure our friend Sinhala_Man, the distinguished pedagogue, can comment more authoritatively.

        R. Varathan

  • 8
    1

    What we achieved after removing English education in the system? We produced more dumb people because they are limited to reading books in Sinhala and Tamil languages, and how many books are available in these languages in a selected subject? And how reliable are they?

    Now, English education became a luxury, only affordable by the rich parents..still the same..

  • 8
    0

    The analysis is rather superficial, although Rev. Rathana’s is even more so
    If not for ‘swabasha’ education, the standard of education in the country would not have risen fast in the 50s and 60s.
    English should have been taught PROPERLY as a second or more desirably a third language.
    Very little was done to produce good textbooks and supporting reading material for higher education in the native languages.
    Science, technology and medicine were taught in English to a student population whose English skill (and language skill as a whole) was on the decline.
    If not bigger countries like China and Japan but also Thailand, Vietnam etc. can teach in the mother tongue and produce results, why couldn’t we?
    South Asia has a long history of colonial rule (with Sri Lanka the longest) and we lack conviction.

    • 4
      0

      A foreign 2nd/3rd language in a plural country like ours cannot be made into a developed feature – like we had with English till the 1960s – with a subject or two in Schools for a few days a week – and that too with poorly equipped teachers. It requires an entire “atmosphere and culture” and serious commitment. It should be spoken widely in school – between teachers/students, students and students, in the playing field, partially at home and social meetings/gatherings etc Access to libraries, Wikipedia, Newspapers, the electronic medium will greatly help. Nationalists and demagogues should stop their nonsense in ridiculing and undermining the language. The entire pre-1956 process has to be regained – even partially. Singapore did not succumb to false nationalism; held on and is well ahead. And so even metropolitan India – Greater Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai where the middle class is multilingual. China, Japan and Korea are spending billions to secure a better quality of English. We still have a few advantages left.

      Its not too late to start – even now.

      R. Varathan

      • 0
        0

        RV
        Teaching English for specific purposes is different from Teaching in English, which seems the clamour of advocates of English.
        China, Japan and Korea are not educating their children in any foreign medium.
        *
        English is taught in continental Europe only as a second or third language except for native speakers of English.
        Motivation is a big factor in learning any language.
        Tourist guides pick up several languages very fast, much faster than undergraduates do just one.
        In the Kollupitiya market there are a few traders who can do business in Chinese and Korean.

    • 0
      0

      “Very little was done to produce good textbooks and supporting reading material for higher education in the native languages. “
      Friend, instead of asking us this question, can you go SWRD’s world, meet him there and ask him this question? Are you looking for toilet when you have to go urgently? When the Colonialist ruling you, you did not come to know a word “planning” or you resisted learning that at your tender age? Then why that idiot introduced Sinhala only if the children cannot be taught in Sinhala Only? He wanted to win election using the Modayas and few Tamil coolies; that was the game.
      You are faulting that there are no good text books in Shobhasa’s but claim your schools have generated abundant of learned citizens. If you are hungry and a store is giving free bread, but no butter, why you are not ready take the bread and look out for butter? Why do you insist you must buy butter and bread at the same time at the same place? If the texts books are in English, built the school and teach them in English. You only just try to uphold your SLFP thugs, who destroyed the education system.

      Entire Lankaweyans have mastered a filthy logic in their arguments like “America doing War Crime why we should not”. First thing, their puny heads have only little capacity to convolute what West doing as War Crimes. Then, their funny logic is in insisting matching with the West on its War crimes. In 1950 Lankawe was equal to Korea. Now it is 15 Times below Kore. Are they telling as they have introduced Shobhsa system, so they are going to beat Vietnam? Absolute idiots!

    • 0
      0

      The entire country is producing only donkeys and monkeys from the universities. UOJ is prime example of what they are milling out, not learned citizens as SJ’s bogus claim. The North East, who were first in education are the last in education now! This how North East has caught up with Vietnam and have surpassed it by thier Shobhasa education. UoJ is outstanding in its explicit sexual conducts oriented ragging! People read the Tamil Dailies for UOJ’s ragging records.
      There was no shortage of education in North East until SLFP Sinhala Racist governments started to destroy them. It is moronic evaluation that country would have fallen behind to the current achievement if SRWD had not introduced Sinhala Only, but when in 1950s the country was competing with Korea and Japan on wealth and education. It is a naive talk saying the country would not have achieved this education standard if the Shobhsa system did not come and destroy Jaffna’s high standard educational stature. What they did was did not uplift Sinhala education to match Jaffna system, but they destroyed Jaffna system to go below Sinhala standard with the help of some Tamil coolies. In the recent history, North East did not produce Tamil Pundits like a C.Y., A Carol Visvanathan, A Kumanarsawmy Pulawar, A Vipulananthar, A Pariyathamby. A Gnanaprakasam….. Where the offspring’s of these Tamil cannon did go after the education in Tamil?? There not even a pistol to be seen in Tamil! Then what did they achieve studying in Tamil? Only propagandists have mastered to deceive the Madayas and Modayas.
      The author is hit by single barrel gun; Shobhsa Medium. We are by double gun; Standardization and Shobhsa Medium. Our entire life is spent on putting it back from the wounds of the Lankawe dirty, revengeful education system’s bullets.

  • 0
    10

    My suspicion this author is Private School – english medium educated but she is not Intelligent. If english was so helpful to you why do you write in to Web media and not doing a High paying job. There is a culture too. there are many who migrated to Western countries because they need new people in order to increase their GDP, fill their universities (Every one is not intelligent to attend the University) and then to finish their research and development activities. Even in those societies, they find the Mother tongue and culture are important. It is not always money. HOLLY WOOD and many young prodigies fail when they mature they faill and become DRUG ADDICTS. the reason is they were pushed too much to perform when they were young. Besides, without their culture, Language is part of the culture, they find they are lost in the society. STUPID SRI LANKANS and mostly COLOMBO – ENGLISH EDUCATED – COCKROACHES have a different view. But, the practical Truth is completely a different one. Dollar Kaakkas never talk those.
    Only the societies with PRE_COLONIAL mindset cry out loud for english. Now engalnd and the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS going Bankrupt. so if you want to do business in INDIA or CHINA English won’t help you. When not, You can only show off to the Stupid Srilankan society that you can speak and write english. SO WHAT. You are still the same empty SOUL and nothing inside.

    • 0
      0

      You are obviously someone with a passionate hatred for a certain group. The claim that “STUPID SRI LANKANS and mostly COLOMBO – ENGLISH EDUCATED – COCKROACHES have a different view” proves this view. Sad.

  • 10
    0

    True patriotism of Srilanka means you love your land irrespective of what language you speak, what religion you follow. The most important feature is to respect fellow citizens and respect the rule of law and every citizen should be treated equally. Srilanka is not an isolated country. Sri Lanka is a small island depend on the global enviornment. Unfortunately, the so called independence after the British rule was not a real independence for the people. The political opportunism of those who got the power in the hands of few westernised families divided the people by race, religion and language. There is nothing wrong in the “suyabasa” policy but the way it was introduced and forceful “Sinhala only act” and inclusion of Buddhism as the foremost religion in the constitution divided the people rather than uniting the people.

  • 10
    0

    Sinhala, Tamil languages are important only for Cultural Identity.
    ,
    You kill the language, you kill the culture.
    ,
    Livelihood of our history, Buddhism and Hinduism, depends on it.
    ,
    English is vital for further education and future career progression. It is a language which can give you access to a wealth of knowledge.
    ,
    I believe we need to strike a balance like in good private schools, such as St. Thomas’ College.
    ,
    Every thing has it’s pro’s and con’s, relative to your perspective.
    ,
    I believe we need to teach all three languages from the early stages of school.
    ,
    All Science stream subjects should be only thought in English, including world history.

    • 3
      3

      Suranga Gunasekera

      “You kill the language, you kill the culture.”

      Is that why S W R D Bandaranayakka and his goons tried their best to kill Tamil?

      • 0
        1

        Dear Native,

        I don’t think our Batti Tamils will agree..
        Batti Boys & Girls can now even sit in the Hallowed Halls of your Yalpanam University..

        • 1
          0

          KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

          “Batti Boys & Girls can now even sit in the Hallowed Halls of your Yalpanam University.”

          You got the wrong end of the stick.
          In the past 60 years or so the crooked state should have encouraged and made learning more than two languages compulsory.
          You will find it difficult to grasp the reason as to why this country lagging behind every other country is that people like you have this parochial and selfish reason to reject learning and teaching languages.

          The polyglot Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera who was given the title “Shad Bhasha Parameshwara” due to his mastery in six oriental languages laughed at those who couldn’t master minimum of 6 languages.

          Unlike you stupid grown ups, children are thought to be clever enough and capable of learning at least 3 to 5 languages all at the same time at a very early age in their life.

          How that would stop the children from studying at Uni level?
          Aren’t you a hypocrite yourself?
          Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?

          Are you still living in the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala’s time or SWRD Banda’s glorious Pancha Maha Balavegaya dark ages?

      • 3
        0

        There were reasons why he had to do it.
        1. No teachers were ready to go to villages.
        2. Jafna and Colombo were the main cities for Education.
        3. Science stream was dominated by the Tamils.
        ,
        This was all thanks to the support the Tamil leaders gave the British. In return they got power and good education.
        ,
        Though the English education make sense now, at the time it was impossible without discriminating the majority.
        ,
        If it wasn’t done by someone, the Sinhalese would have taken the power by force.
        ,
        The issue would have been much worse when 80 percent were Sinhalese.
        ,
        This is what happened in Germany. Jews controlled the economy while the Aryans were starving.
        ,
        Now it’s high time to change, to compete in the Global economic war.
        ,
        Not only the Education but the laws as well. All Sri Lankans should have only one law.
        ,
        We need to get rid of Thesavalamai Law, which is against the international standards relating to equality such as CEDAW.

        • 0
          0

          SG
          “This is what happened in Germany. Jews controlled the economy while the Aryans were starving.”
          Where did you collect this c*** from?
          Mein Kampf or the secret diary of Dr. Goebbels?

          • 2
            0

            JD,
            ,
            You think it’s racism, but for Hitler it was economic strategy.
            ,
            Please don’t think I’m endorsing what he did.
            ,
            When ever they arrested the Jews, they went after their Gold and money.
            ,
            This is how he revived the German economy and made it a super power.
            ,
            Going after the Jews were enough income, to get the support of the oppressed in each and every country he claimed after.
            ,
            If he won, he is a hero now. Since he lost, he became the villain. He definitely deserves it.
            ,
            History is written by the winner. There’s always another perspective.

  • 2
    9

    Just imagine trying to teach our kiddies from Naotunna. Udugama and Horowpathana in grade one to read and write in English.

    This young Lady I am sure is not one from them.
    Making English Compulsory is giving a Free Kick to the Colombites as my new mate Analyst calls them.
    And the new Suburbians with the Moolay who are forcing their Kids to speak English although some of them even can’t read English.

    During Sudda Regimes that is what they exactly did.
    That is why our Gamaya Kids never went to even high School, let alone become Doctors, Engineers and Lawyers.
    Dr Ranil is a good example of that Era.
    Who can’t speak proper Sinhalaese and ends up insulting our women calling them Jungi Nangees…

    • 1
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      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Just imagine trying to teach our kiddies from Naotunna. Udugama and Horowpathana in grade one to read and write in English.”

      Do you think the kids are so stupid they are unable learn more than one language at the same time? When the children in this island grow into adulthood they become complete morons. Therefore catch them young and teach them as many languages as possible.

      Do you know who opposes multi language education especially English? It is those hypocrites who were fortunate to learn English properly before 1958.

      Child psychologist believe “a child can grow up learning 3-4 languages from a very early childhood on (0-5) and not being “confused”.

      Please stop making the future generation stupid.
      By denying the others the opportunity to learn other languages you are trying to retain the class differences, hence a modern day master slave relationship.

      What a practising hypocrites you and your fellow primates are.

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      K A Sumanasekera – where did you learn your English?

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        Raj,

        It was in Kotahena, mate.

        I mus thank the Tamil Family who gave me accommodation when I came to Colombo from the village..

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      This is the exact mind set- being represented by WIMAL PONNAWANSE and Rajakashe loyalists.
      And not to forget President is said to be suffering a lot not being able to communicate in English. He just abuses the state funds for his numerous foreign trips, but mostly, he will become cornered in discussion tables. That is where he becomes malicious towards good educated PM.
      There is a real big problem in this country, between cultured and uncultured groups.
      Srilanken Frankenstein Rajakashe led groups would never respect those who can get on well with foreigners. Alone seeing them talking has become a reason them to call them ” they go after westerners”: This has nothing to do with anything else, but uncivlized nature of those men be them former or incumbent president.

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    I am of mixed blood . The best definition of mother tongue I have come across is the language one thinks in . In school it was Sinhala . I used to think in Sinhala . Then when I entered medical college I realised I was thinking in Sinhala and studying in English . It took me time . Then I started thinking in English . It happened automatically . There are no text books in Sinhala . My school St Josephs college had an english period even at A levels . We had Drama in school and I debated in both languages .
    I know the advantage I get by being able to speak and read in English . Language is a means of communication only . We would not have a million people woking as house maids if they spoke in English . There are so many jobs in the tourist sector for people who can speak English . There are I think 300000 Jobs available in the hotel sector alone .

    Its the politicians who cause problems .

    Aloysius

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    Canada has some thing called French immersion starting from Grade ONe. that is only up to grade six and not through out the entire system. I heard generally that dumbs the students. the reason may be their foundation is not a good one. See Khandagama looks like a student who had English through the Hodiya or Pahala Balanshya. YEt, she is a still just a Journalist and not even major newspapers in Srilanka.. That is the only advantage.

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    I am a victim of Tamil medium education….
    translators of science books ….chemistry , biology …etc into Tamil and Sinhalese made money…
    but the translated material was so poor …the students have to revise English books…and write exams in Tamil/Sinhalese

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    However, throughout my life, in studies as well as in carrier, I have regret in not having the opportunity to learn in English medium.
    Your slip in the English language shows with your career. So we need to educate the children from the young and formative ages to stop this.

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    What utter rubbish.
    English whether anybody likes it or not has become the internationally chosen common language for business , trade etc. Sri Lanka has become a tourist hub and the most common language to communicate in is English. It has always appeared that the education system,social class system and I believe the Clergy have prevented the masses learning English as it keeps the lower classes of people less informed about international issues,it keeps people isolated they can only be informed in Sinhala on state and private media issues. This is even more so with the clergy who want the less educated kept ignorant and ill informed and perpetuate the superstitions they are encouraged to believe as this further empowers the said members of the clergy.

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    Don’t even have to discuss these comments from an idiotic monk, they have nothing else to do. How the hell did he get in to the 225?

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      Agreed. The pro vs anti English debate is pretty much dead.

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    I am an octogenarian. I just escaped the Sinhala only curse of Bandaranaike fame, as I was fortunate enough to sit for the S S C in 1956. It was the Pirivena educated saffron robed idiots like Buddharakkitha, who roped in Bandaranaike for the single intention of gaining power. With the education system reverting to Sinhala, those who joined us in the state sector were unfits in all forms of knowledge. That was because they did not have the opportunities to read in the English Language. We were victimized even there, as we lost the opportunity of conversing in English. It is these Buddhist priests who should be blamed for the mishap. I was able to for see this disaster and gave special effort to teach English to my children, in their tender days by sending them to my English teacher. That was a blessing. These Rathana type opportunists should be banished from this society. They are a curse as was Buddharakkitha of Kelaniya temple, who was a womaniser, thug, businessman and a assassin, who died in prison for the assassination of Bandaranaike. Shame on them and Rathana too.

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      Agreeing that SWRDB did the major damage to achieve his political goals by playing to sinhala idiots who voted for him and created major rifts with tamils it was Sirima who abolished the English medium from schools with the connivance of Badurdeen Mohamed. As a result only Sinhala medium graduates who cannot teach in the English medium who teach science subjects in the Emgl;ish medium now.
      When Nehru was asked to change the medium of school instruction from English to Hindi, he through for a while and said “I will think about it 60 years from now”. Such was the vision of Indian leaders compared to ours like SWRDB and Sirima

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      DPJ
      Swabasha education was not SWRDB’s brainchild. It arrived before 1956.

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        SJ

        Swabasha was not a problem, the problem was hypocrites like you thought and still think that in this modern world you can manage your economy, development, trade, knowledge transfer, …………….. without the knowledge of international language skills. You can stuff your arcane idea of linguistic socialist nationalism (Aryan) wherever it fits.

        S W R D Bandaranayake may not be the father of Swabasha however he and his wife the weeping widow together should bear all the blame for creating the mess in this island through their narrow selfish linguistic nationalism. You too have to take responsibility for defending the indefensible.

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    These priest is off the rocker

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    Dear darling writer, I live in the UK and can tell you that the indiginous English couldn’t care too hoots whether you know good English or not as long as you are willing to get along and do your job properly. There are loads of foreign workers doing important jobs here, even though their knowledge of English is very limited, that the natives are either not willing to do or are not qualified sufficiently to take them on. Also there are good number of natives who can’t read or write their own language, ie. English (even though they have attended school !) but carry on with all types of jobs earning good money. So don’t be so hung up about not learning English from Grade 1-5 onwards. English is a language you can easily pick up if you put your mind to it. Not all English educated people are brainy or clever either !!!

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      Language learning becomes harder with age. That’s the problem.

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    JEALOUSY, JEALOUSY, JEALOUSY……. this is what drives the so called and so addressed “Rev Ratana Thero” to come out with this “BRILLIANT IDEA”. He should be emulated to the status SWRD earned as the causer of all our ills. the Sinhala Only doctrine has proved to be an utter failure and today Sri Lanka has gone backwards from where we were in 1948.
    A nation that was looked up as a model in Asia is today reduced to a Pariah State. We have screwed up our political, education, administration, health, plantation industry, and every other sphere which brought us economic strength and respect in the international community.
    Our politicians from the TOP to the BOTTOM, are either stupid, corrupt. inefficient, and we could attribute all other expletives we could find in the dictionary and it would still, not be enough to describe them perfectly.
    And now we have Ratana Thero who is a National List Member of Parliament from the United National Party, professing something completely opposite to what all UNPers think. He should either resign or be sacked from the UNP.
    The solution is simple to all our woes.
    What would be good for Sri Lanka today would be to bring back the English medium of study, from LKG, make Sinhala and Tamil compulsory for all and place every Sri Lankan FIVE year old in ONE CLASSROOM.
    This NONSENSE of having the Sinhalese children attending Sinhala schools, Tamil/Muslim children attending Tamil and Muslim schools should be STOPPED FORTHWITH. There should be one rule concerning uniforms for all Government schools. No exceptions should be allowed. The Muslims wear all sorts of uniforms and all this should be stopped.I have seen some girls going to school with nothing open but only their eyes. This is going a bit too far.
    BUT WHO WOULD “BELL THE CAT”….. Is there one leader in Sri Lanka who would take up this issue, NO!

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    ‘Teaching Students From Grades 1-5 In English Should Stop’-
    It appears that what Thero is saying is, about using English as the medium of instruction and not teaching English as a language. I am with the Thero on this and I think it makes sense to teach in one’s mother tongue, even up to grade 8 or 10. Most of those who have responded here think making English as the medium of instruction would have made them better writers/speakers of English language. I beg to differ. What we need in rural Sri Lankan schools is good English teachers and the goal should be to train good teachers in sufficient numbers, so that they improve the standard of English in rural schools.

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    Tku v much for educating the people trying to mislead us. Bandaranayaka policies drowned millions of poor people without jobs for lack of English education. Sinhala only people don’t practice what they preach.99% of the sinhala only people sign in English. If you travel island wide 99% of the name boards of sinhala owned shops are in English.What more. If western countries give free visas 90% of the sinhala patriots will leave the country within a few months. Its sad that this policy affected the poor who cannot afford private education.

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    The article is full of contradictions and misapprehensions suitable for the mindset that bark at the wrong tree. Little learning is a dangerous, they say!

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      Chandra


      “Little learning is a dangerous, they say!”

      True as long as you constantly remember it and remind yourself.

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    Anushka stop moaning- stop being a victim. surely in this age of social media/ internet, you can always learn English
    Never be sorry that you learnt your mother tongue. its a beautiful language and only 20mn people speak it in the world. keep it a live. one day you ll be happy that you did!

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