Antiquated language teaching methods block goal of a trilingual police force

Olindhi Jayasundera, in the Daily Mirror, 6 October 2011: “People want a Trilingual Police force”

Presidential Advisor and Coordinator of the Presidential Initiative for a Trilingual Sri Lanka Sunimal Fernando said people had requested for the government to set up a trilingual police system at the earliest time possible. “They don’t want ethnic Tamil people in the North and Sinhala people in the South.” he said. The Presidential Secretariat said yesterday that when people were requested to send in their recommendations to be added in the country’s ten year trilingual national plan one of the suggestions that stood out was the people’s interest in changing the Sri Lankan Police Force into a strictly trilingual based one.

He said another recommendation was to change language teaching methods in the country. “We were informed that people find it difficult to learn Sinhala, Tamil and English due to the outdated methods practiced in the country as opposed to methods practiced abroad where language is taught through activities,” he said. He said that only 1.5% of the public sector receives training in the second language for a year. “To train the public service at the present rate of progress in bilingual training it would take about 100 years. This is the state of language use in Sri Lanka right now,” he said.  The Presidential Secretariat has called on the public to send their comments and suggestions to the council.

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