[CITIZENS' Mail - (12-09-2017)] | Daily News

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[CITIZENS' Mail - (12-09-2017)]

English in the revolutionary world

The increasing demand for English language, needless to say, is obvious to everyone in the computerized world. Even to operate a computer or send an SMS, at the very basic level, one should have at least some knowledge in English, no one can deny the fact.

It is regrettable to notify, students learn English at schools for nearly 10-12 years as a second language. However, their language proficiency is considerably low. They face immense challenges for coming out with flying colours in their higher education. Adding to it, for many, communicating in English is a nightmare and has mental blocks for various reasons. Practically they face hardships in getting high demand jobs.

As a co-controlling chief examiner for the G.C.E (A/L) General English for years, I witnessed and experienced that their performance itself mirrors out the students’ negligence and ignorance towards the subject. Shockingly, that the majority of the students from all parts of the Island scoring marks ranging from 05-25 is a quite good evidence for the work they do when compared to the other main subjects. However, contradictorily, the students from the metropolitan cities of the schools perform outstandingly.

In 2015, the number of candidates, all over the Island, sat for the General English examination was 2, 48,482 but the number of candidates passed with As, Bs, Cs and Ss was 97,383 that was 39%. Sadly, 60% of the students failed in the subject. On the top of all, according to a research survey, country-wide about one-third of schools do not have enough teachers for General English. So, the empowered government should take a remedial solution no sooner than later.

Learning in the vernacular is appreciable, but everyone should realize the dire need of English language and prepare them to become successful learners in the 21st century. It is a bridge to bring any ethnically different people under one roof. Nowadays, the tuition classes and centres have mushroomed for business with the boards ‘SPEAK ENGLISH IN THREE MONTHS’. Even though parents want their children to speak English, the self-motivation, self-interest and self-learning of the children are hardly found. Indispensably, students should develop and inculcate critical thinking and creative skills to meet the future challenges.

Therefore, incorporating English as a compulsory subject to enter the university and the government facilitating this learning process with sufficient resources even at the rural level would be the one and only solution to confront this problem.

Subajana Jeyaseelan

Vavuniya Campus


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