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Last week an interesting discussion happened on our forum.

My children attend local schools. Having attended a local school, my memories are precious and so I have been rather dogmatic in my resolve to have my children receive a similar education.

However as they progress the reality of our education curriculum makes me pray for change.

See for those of you who may not be aware the syllabus is very vast and complex. The higher grades (6 upwards) have as much as 14 subjects (Sinhala, Tamil, English, Religion, Maths, Science, Robotics, Citizenship education, Geography, History, Health, Physical Education, Music/Art/Dance and Life skills). Now I am very aware that times have changed and so must syllabuses but our education system tends to, I believe, overwhelm not just the student but the teacher as well.

I believe Sri Lankans are smart. Last year two of our ladies were recognized in the global arena for their outstanding achievements. However they both had to obtain their education from overseas. I am not against going overseas for higher education but what about those who can’t or give up all too soon?

Our education system wants our children to be Sinhala gurus, text book savvy and refrain from thinking outside the box. Harsh? Well it’s my opinion! The Sinhala syllabus sadly drives many a student away from the system. Answers given outside the text book are marked wrong at the O/Ls and examiners look to confuse students by giving ‘tricky’ questions.

Moreover the education curriculum fails to see the necessity of English. With a very basic curriculum the department forces children to learn Sinhala or Tamil as the ‘link’ language instead of seeing the vital need for English to be the link language that ‘links’ all Sri Lankan’s internally and with the world.

The Education minister and department are focused on making the nearest school the best one and I am all for it. But if the curriculum makes a student want to give up rather than progress what’s the point?

My children can be moved into an international school fairly easily but I feel so sad for those who can’t.

We as a nation tend to be quite passive about things. We ‘accept’ this is what is. If anything the recent constitutional coup taught me it was that there is strength in unity. Maybe it’s time we Colombo mums become aware of the need to change our local curriculum the need to let our children and the nations next set of leaders grow up in a Tution less, relevant age appropriate educational system. If we all become aware and we talk, surely our voices will be heard and maybe change will come...someday!

Taanya Tranchell
Author: Taanya Tranchell
Taanya Tranchell is a proud Sri Lankan, a committed mum and a fledgling entrepreneur. While not a social activist, she does want to do her bit to make the world a better place.
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