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India is committed to assist Sri Lanka

2014 Oct 13

The Indian Government today reiterated its continuing commitment to assist in Sri Lanka’s development with Indian assisted projects in Sri Lanka amounting to around US$ 1.63 billion.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardana, and the High Commissioner of India Y.K. Sinha, today jointly inaugurated a Language Lab at the Wayamba National College of Education, Bingiriya.

Speaking on the occasion, the Education Minister thanked India for its assistance in the field of education. The High Commissioner welcomed the inauguration of the third Language Lab, and reiterated India’s continuing commitment to assist in Sri Lanka’s development. In this regard, he noted that Indian assisted projects in Sri Lanka amounted to around US$ 1.63 billion and covered various sectors including housing, infrastructure, education, health, agriculture, fisheries, industry, handicrafts and culture.

The Language Lab in Bingiriya is one of the nine Language Labs that the Government of India has set up in each of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka. Two Language Labs in Gampaha (Western Province) and Kandy (Central Province) have already been inaugurated. Other locations where Language Labs have been set up include Ampara (Eastern Province), Badulla (Uva Province), Jaffna (Northern Province), Matara (Southern Province), Polonnaruwa (North Central Province), and Ratnapura (Sabaragamuwa Province).

The Language Lab project is being implemented as part of anMoU 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; impart training to English language teachers from schools, colleges and universities in Sri Lanka; upgrade their skills; andraise the general level of proficiency in English language of various sections of society.

The 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 secondary and higher education in Sri Lanka and 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; setting up of Rabindranath Tagore Auditorium at Ruhuna University in Matara; 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.

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