Wednesday, 5  February 2003  
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NEF to steer the destiny of the younger generation

Having identified the lack of proficiency in English as being the root cause in Sri Lanka's inability to keep pace with the rapid advances on various scientific, industrial and technological fronts, the National English Foundation (NEF) was launched last year in an attempt to focus the attention of all concerned to endeavour a start to be made towards resolution of this national problem.

The founder of the NEF Richard de Zoysa in an attempt to harness all available resources, founded the NEF with the other trustees being Commerce & Consumer Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Professor Rajiva Wijesinghe, Azhar Razeen, Dr. P. Saravanamuttu and Professor M. T. A. Furkhan.

Richard de Zoysa outlined the scope and aim of the NEF which is to make English one of the main streams of education, and thereby cultivate a new generation proficient in English and capable of taking its due place in the universal academic and professional arenas.

A pilot launch of the National English Foundation in association with the Mahapola Board of Management took place yesterday at the Sri Lanka - Nippon Education Cultural Centre at Etul-Kotte and classes in English will be conducted for three-year-olds who have already registered themselves with the Foundation. Having launched off from the Kotte electorate the Foundation prospectively intends to ramify its activities to all other parts of the island.

The present generation of three-year-olds would graduate next year to the second rung in the teaching curriculum, which will also be catered to by the NEF and the new entrants to the three-year-old category would form the fresh base, thereby doubling the requirements by way of teaching staff and all other infrastructural facilities by the second year. The ultimate aim of the Foundation is to influence the presence of English as the common medium of instruction in Sri Lanka.

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