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Lanka seeks Indian strategy on language gap

Oct 16, 2010 1:00:56 PM - itnnews.lk

India is willing to help Sri Lanka emulate its three-language education policy teaching Tamil in Sinhala dominated areas and Sinhalese to the Tamils in the island nation.

Under India’s three language formula, school children across India learn English, their mother tongue and a third language that depends on the most widely spoken language in their state. Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris during his tour of India had discussions in this respect with Indian Minister Kapil Sibal. A government veteran explained that the fundamental idea behind the three-language policy is to ensure that every child studies in his mother tongue and one national language, while also learning the basics of a third language that will help understand other cultures of the country.

Students in Sinhala dominated areas may learn English and Sinhalese as principal languages with Tamil as the third language, and students in Tamil dominated areas may learn Tamil and English along with Sinhala as their third language. Quoting the Indian Human Resource Development Ministry, the Hindustan Times said India will soon send experts to Sri Lanka to share India’s experience in handling linguistic differences and to explain the nuances of India’s language policy.