Year of English and IT
Year of peace, reconciliation and true independence:
The year 2009 is our country’s Year of English and IT. With the
liberation of our people from the clutches of terrorism which destroyed
our country for more than 25 years, 2009 will also be our country’s Year
of Peace, our country’s Year of Reconciliation, and our Year of true
Independence, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
He was speaking at the ceremonial launch of “2009 - Year of English
and Information Technology” at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
“It promises to be the year in which all our people, - irrespective
of caste, race, locality, language or religion, - begin to march
together, as the sons and daughters of Mother Lanka towards a common
goal of development and prosperity,” the President said.
The ‘Year of English and IT’ is launched as a major initiative of the
Government to help Sri Lanka meet the demands of the 21st Century in
skills and capacities, making the availability as a Life Skill for the
President Rajapaksa said his Government lays emphasis on the
unmistakable need to urgently equip the people, especially the youth,
with proficiency in the English language on the one side and to provide
them with access to computers and internet facilities, through the rapid
development of use of information technology, on the other.
English and IT shall therefore be used by our Government as
instruments of rural empowerment; as powerful tools that could make the
villages of our country a meaningful part of the global village.
The President said while he recognized English to be an important
tool of rural empowerment, its penetration across the country and
especially, into the rural hinterland has been held back by constraints
of a very different nature.
“English was and still continues to be perceived and delivered as a
gateway to elite status and an emblem of class and privilege.
“The curriculum and teaching methods followed in our country, which
place importance not on the use of it for communication, but on its
rules of grammar, and on perfect pronunciation, have only served to
maintain it as the exclusive preserve of a selfish, privileged class and
a tool of social repression,” he said.
Full text of President’s speech