Sri Lanka, UNDP promote social inclusion through language labs

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Jun 21, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s multicultural society should be regarded as a strength and not a weakness to promote national co-existence, a minister said.

“Multiculturalism and pluralism is not a weakness but a strength to our country,” Mano Ganesan minister of national co-existence, dialogue and official languages said at the opening of the second United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assisted language laboratory recently.

“My goal is to establish 16 language laboratories across Sri Lanka. On a journey to realize this and achieve national co-existence, I thank the UNDP for their assistance.”

The opening of this second laboratory is part of an effort to bridge the existing language gap and support the implementation of the official languages policy which will allow citizens to receive services from any public institution in the language of one’s choice.

This can also promote wider dialogue in Sri Lanka, enhance the quality of public service delivery to all citizens, and build social cohesion by bringing together previously marginalized and excluded groups.

“UNDP is encouraged by the continued emphasis placed by the Government of Sri Lanka on the implementation of the Official Languages Policy,” Lovita Ramguttee,  resident representative UNDP Sri Lanka said.

“We strongly believe this support contributes towards further strengthening the institutional capacity of the Department of Official Languages enabling it to almost double its intake of current students thus supporting Sri Lanka in working towards Sustainable Development Goal 16 which focuses upon promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

With an investment of an estimated 10 million rupees each, the new labs have been equipped with language teaching equipment and technology, which will facilitate more student-centered and interactive teaching using some of the latest techniques and technology available for language learning.