English for All
Judging by the advertisements in the media there is a huge demand for private education in English, but standards of English education have not received any attention. Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), the organization responsible for standards in all tertiary education and training,* does not cover English education. This gap has left the consumers of education faced with wide array of choices with very little information to make a correct choice.
(1) Develop standards for English Education that are based on a menu of outcomes such as a pass in GCE (O/L), GCE (A/L), IELTS or other existing standards of English learning.
(2) Allow the existing community of English education providers to thrive but require them to register with the TVEC in accordance with the standards required by TVEC.
(3) Expand the proposed voucher system to help the neediest of the needy students to pay for a registered training program of their choice.
This approach is in keeping with the principle of “government as facilitator not provider” principle recommended by the 1997 Presidential Task Force on Technical Education and Vocational Training Reforms. Prior to that Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe was instrumental in setting up the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission an organization that would be the main instrument of facilitation by government. Unfortunately, all governments have been progressive in polices but laggards in implementation.