Sri Lanka has to catch up on English, IT literacy: UNDP rep

Feb 20, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is losing an advantage it had in basic literacy and the use of English language with other nations catching up fast and information technology literacy becoming increasingly important, a United Nations official said. Sri Lanka had the highest literacy rate in South Asia.

“But simply having a literate population that can read and write will not suffice in a knowledge economy,” UNDP Resident Representative Subinay Nandy said.

He said over the past 30 years the English proficiency in Sri Lanka had declined.

Nandy said there were 300 million English learners in China and 50 million in Vietnam.

Nandy said he was please to learn that Sri Lanka’s government placing the highest importance in encouraging the learning of the English language with President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself giving leadership to the effort.

He was speaking at the release of the Information Economy Report of 2012, where Sri Lanka’s highly export oriented software development industry was featured.

A market place for Apps to be used on smart phones hosted by Etisalat, a mobile firm was also featured in the report.

Nandy said though basic education was widespread, at tertiary education level, in Sri Lanka a large pro