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S B Dissanayake - Minister of Higher Education

I was asked recently for a comment regarding what was termed the Higher Education Ministry’s controversial decision to make the Advanced Level General English paper compulsory for those seeking University Entrance beginning from 2011. The question was whether this was fair, given the absence of English teachers at schools. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, to which I had spoken on this issue, had also been told that there were over 1,400 schools without a single English teacher.

My response was incorporated in an article, perfectly reasonably, given constraints of space, but I thought I should reproduce it more fully, and with further clarifications given the questions that were raised.

I checked the decision with the Ministry and found that the requirement that has been introduced is that all candidates for university must sit the exam. It is not compulsory to pass.

 

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Rajiva Wijesinha

February 2011
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