- On July 19, 2019
The value of English as an International language is now recognized almost in every country, and there is no dispute on the need to popularize English in Sri Lanka. This has already been attempted by implementing a policy of teaching English. Although this is a national policy, the implementation of the Policy has been lethargic over the years. Apathy, indifference and even sabotage at official level have rendered the English Teaching programme in government schools defunct, said His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Maxwell Silva, Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo.
His Lordship as chief guest on the occasion of the Aquinas College of Higher Studies -Award Ceremony 2019 made this observation addressing the students, parents and well wishers present at the ceremony, held at the Aquinas College Don Peter Auditorium, Borella recently.
Aquinas College is a state-approved Degree Awarding Institute under the University Grants Commission. And is a non-profit making institution, situated at Parkland in Borella, located in the centre of the city of Colombo and
administered by the Catholic Church under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Colombo.
At this ceremony, the Aquinas College of Higher Studies awarded the students who have successfully completed the Diploma in English, Diploma in Sister Formation, Diploma in Catholic Education and Teacher Training, Diploma in Cookery and Culinary Art, Diploma in Proficiency Skills and Hotel Management, Diploma in information and communication technology, Diploma in Pharmacy Management and Practice, Diploma in Agriculture Production Technology, Diploma in Plant Nursery Development Assistant and Certificate in Basic English and Information Technology.
His Lordship appreciated the bold steps taken by the Government to move with the policy of Bilingual studies. In spite of all these obstacles, the Government has introduced English Medium studies (Bilingual studies). This could be mentioned as a bold decision taken by the government and the Ministry of Education, to promote English as a secondary language.
Making reference to the award ceremonies His Lordship said:
Award ceremonies are organized to appreciate the achievements and to reward the deserving students, award ceremonies are of great importance as that shows the recognition of the student’s ability, results of achievement, orientation and an encouragement to students to aim high and to be industrious and persevering.
His Lordship went on to say that it was a great honour and great privilege to be the Chief Guest at the Aquinas College Awards Ceremony. He also said that ceremonies of this nature is meant not to devalue or underestimate students with lesser abilities. After all students need to be trained, to accept the differences in the Right Spirit.
Making reference to what the Rector of Aquinas had told while inviting him to be the chief guest His Lordship said that he was made aware, that many of you have offered English as a subject.
“Language is a system of communication. It enables us to convey to others, what we THINK, FEEL AND WANT. Language as a communication tool is the prime means of organizing the co-operative activities, that enable us to accomplish, as groups:- things we could not possibly to do as individuals.
Language is power. Language is the gate pass to upward mobility, the opportunity to move from one situation to another. Systems which provide with opportunity for social mobility are the “closed” systems and though with a relatively high rate of mobility are open. Sociologists say that an individual’s class position in Society is largely achieved.
English is a language of power. It helps to gain knowledge, especially in Science and Technology and to move into computer age and engage in international Trade and Commerce, International relations, etc. it also serves as a link language to develop a cohesive multi-cultural society.
It helps to serve as a means of building the generation gap and also to provide equality of opportunity in a country, where English remains privilege of a few.
The Church, together with the Aquinas College has taken bold steps to promote the English Language by introducing so many study programmes in English. Therefore, the responsibility lies on you, dear children, to make use of these facilities, under the guidance of your Lecturers and Teachers to improve your own knowledge and make English Language, the most popular Language in the world.
Very Rev. Fr. (Dr) Susith Mark Lal Silva, the Rector/Vice Chancellor of Aquinas College of Higher Studies welcomed the dignitaries and expressed his gratitude for their gracious presence. He congratulated the students and advised them to make the right choices in choosing their higher studies.