The government’s decision to send students who are eligible for university admission in 2011 to Army camps to expose them to leadership techniques, English language and IT training is a flawed decision.
Thanks to our old fashion and outdated paper-marking systems, students have to wait for months to get the examination results first, followed by a couple of more moths for the re-correction process to end and finally the University admissions results.
At the end the students lose almost a year due to these lethargic processes and unfortunately not many of them avail this free time available to them for any useful activity.
Therefore, if the government is so keen on turning the trend for good use, then putting children through a well coordinated National Service Duty programme immediately after their Advanced Level Examination is over is not a bad idea.
However, National Service Duty does not mean sending children to boot-camps.
Instead, they can be trained as back up force to function in the services that are called as Essential Services such as running hospitals, sea and airports, vital power and energy supplies, mass transports, Communication etc.
Such an act would protect the country from unwarranted industrial actions organized by unscrupulous trade unionists too, whom hitherto held a monopolistic advantage when dealing and bargaining in such issues.
If we are to see an improvement in the English language proficiency among school children, then the present teaching methods adopted to teach them English language too has to be put under the microscope.
If someone can master a complicated language like Sinhala, then learning English would not be that difficult but what is holding many back is needed to be analyzed and come up with simple solutions to counter them.
Still owning a personal computer is far beyond the common man’s reach and the latest statistics show the penetration of computers in the Sri Lankan society is far far below.
And to make the matter worse the availability of electricity and internet connectivity in many parts of the country is dismal.
Unless those issues are addressed correctly, putting students who are eligible for university admission through a rapid “Catch All If You Can” sort of training programme for another three more months is nothing but utter waste of time only.
We are far behind compared to regional and world educational standards and wasting a few more months on a useless programme takes us nowhere except further back.
It is time to shift Gear to FORWARD and not to reverse.