Access to Education

Sri Lanka’s public education system has included teaching in both Sinhala and Tamil even since colonial times. However In practice many areas have no schoolteachers in the relevant language. Letters issued by zonal education offices are in Sinhala alone. Tamil teachers have been sent Teaching Guides in Sinhala. Translations are sent very late, often too late to be of any use. In schools in bilingual areas such as Colombo, student assemblies are held only in Sinhala. School children often have no access to official translations, and any communications from their school are sent to the parents in Sinhala. Sometimes the parents cannot even enter school premises because they do not speak Sinhala. Universities host certain courses only in English and Sinhala thus violating minority rights to equal access to education.

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