The Bilingual Education Branch of the Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Education in partnership with British Council Sri Lanka recently organised the first-ever conference on promoting bilingual education to achieve a trilingual Sri Lanka.
The programme was organised with a number of different objectives:
To make different stakeholders aware of current practices in bilingual education at the local and global levels through research findings and other methods.
To provide an opportunity to learn from different experiences and share good practices at the local and international levels.
To develop a strategic paper on Bilingual Education based on the outcome of the conference as a supportive document for a bilingual education policy for the general education system in Sri Lanka.
The Conference was attended by representatives of the National Institute of Education, the National Education Commission, university heads, English lecturers, students and British Council consultants from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Outlining the purpose of the programme, Secretary to the Ministry of Education Anura Dissanayake said, “The main objective of the bilingual programme is to improve the levels of English language among students completing secondary education in order to enable them to increase economic opportunities in the national and international labour market.”
He further said that “one of the main challenges is the expansion of the programme, providing access to all children island-wide. But the Ministry will be implementing a programme to overcome this challenge.”
The English Language Teaching Research Partnership Award was also launched as a part of this event.(kh)
Sources: Education Ministry/British Council