A few days ago I met a group of Colombo Medical College students who were protesting over the SAITM Medical College affair and fell into a conversation with them and I was horrified to find that they could not converse in English.
When I inquired from them as to whether they were not taught in English at the Medical College they said yes, but that since they had studied in the Sinhala medium till A/Levels, they were unable to follow what was being taught; one of them said that she was intending to go back to her village, which was Embilipitiya.
I am certain that the authorities at the Medical College are aware of the problem. I wonder what remedial action they are taking; meanwhile, I shall be thankful if your newspaper would publish this letter for it is incumbent on all of us to do whatever we can to address this issue which is a national issue. I am aware that the British Council runs many courses to teach English. I hope that they, and also the American Embassy, and the Indian High Commission, would tie up with the Medical College and other institutions of higher learning in Sri Lanka to equip the leaders of tomorrow of our country with the most spoken language in the world – English.
No greater service could they render to our country and our people for they would also be making the most significant contribution to uniting our multi-racial country. I hope our readers would write to the authorities and the newspapers to mount a campaign to have this matter addressed.
We should have English taught in all our schools after grade five, it would be an investment in the people and it would build them and our country.