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    Inauguration of Language Lab set up by India in Kandy

    September 30, 2014
    Minister of Education of Sri Lanka,  Bandula Gunawardana, and Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India, jointly inaugurated a Language Lab in Kandy on September 29, 2014 at a function held at Mahaweli National College of Education. Advisor to the President, Sunimal Fernando, Central Provincial Council members and several senior Government Officials were present on the occasion.
     
    The Language Lab in Kandy is one of the nine Language Labs that the Government of India has set up in each of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka. The first Language Lab was inaugurated by the Minister of Economic Development,  Basil Rajapaksa, in Gampaha in the Western Province in December 2013. Other locations where Language Labs have been set up include Jaffna, Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Kurunegala, Ratnapura, Badulla and Matara. The Language Lab project is being implemented as part of an MoU signed between India and Sri Lanka in 2011 for “Setting up of a Three-Tier English Language Training System in Sri Lanka”. The total cost of the project is SLR 84 million, which is being implemented by the Government of India under full grant assistance through M/s Metropolitan Office (Pvt) Limited, Colombo. As part of the project, Government of India has provided 30 computer units and other related equipment, software and latest sophisticated teaching aids to each Centre, and has also trained five master trainers for each Centre.
     
     
    The objective of the project is to help enhance English Language training infrastructure in Sri Lanka; raise the general level of proficiency in English language of various sections of society; impart training in the use of English language; familiarize English language teachers from schools, colleges and universities in Sri Lanka with recent trends in English language teaching; and upgrade their skills.
     
     
    While inaugurating the Kandy Language Lab, Education Minister appreciated India’s assistance in the field of education, and said that this project would help advance English language skills of teachers and students in Sri Lanka. High Commissioner congratulated the Ministry of Education on the successful completion of the Language Lab at Kandy. He recalled that the scope and scale of India’s Development Partnership projects in Sri Lanka had increased exponentially since the end of the armed conflict in 2009, with Indian assisted projects amounting to US$ 1.63 billion and encompassing virtually all major sectors including housing, infrastructure, education, health, agriculture, fisheries, industry, handicrafts and culture. Importantly, the projects were in line with the needs and priorities identified by the Government of Sri Lanka.
     
     
    Government of India has attached high priority to the education sector in its development partnership with Sri Lanka. To help students from Sri Lanka pursue higher education in Sri Lanka and in India, 790 scholarships are offered every year, benefitting students all across the Island. Other projects in the education sector include setting up of 40 “Nenasalas” (e-Learning Centres) in Eastern, Western and Southern provinces; establishing Faculties of Agriculture and Engineering at Kilinochchi; renovating 79 war damaged schools in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya; supplying 1,260 computers and 218 laser printers to about 500 schools of the Eastern Province; setting up of a Siddha Faculty at Trincomalee; and gifting of 110 buses to education institutions to assist school going children. 
     
     
    A number of other Government of India assisted projects are being implemented in the Upcountry areas, such as the construction of the 150-Bed Hospital at Dickoya in Hatton; 70 crèches in the Estate sector; the Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Matale; and 4000 houses for the estate workers in Central and Uva Provinces. (KH)
     
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