SL plans to recruit foreign volunteers to address English teacher shortage

February 25, Colombo (LNW): The Ministry of Higher Education in Sri Lanka has announced plans to enlist foreign and expatriate volunteers to teach English to Sri Lankan students.

This initiative comes amidst a significant exodus of teachers migrating to other countries following the nation’s unprecedented economic crisis.

According to Education Ministry officials, over five thousand teachers have departed the country with official permission under the government’s circular allowing temporary leave from state positions.

Additionally, tens of thousands of teachers have left without informing the authorities, exacerbating the acute teacher shortage nationwide.

Suren Raghavan, the State Minister for Higher Education, highlighted that the shortage has been exacerbated by many graduates with English degrees opting for careers in writing or the private sector due to higher salaries, rather than joining government schools.

To address this challenge, Raghavan emphasised the need for an online system.

Raghavan also mentioned engaging with the Canadian and Australian High Commissions to enlist the assistance of English teachers experienced in teaching English as a second language in South Asia.

He noted the interest shown by teachers in the United Kingdom, who have experience teaching in Asian countries such as Burma and India, to offer their services free of charge.

This initiative coincides with concerns about a decline in the country’s English literacy rate, highlighted the Minister.

President Ranil Wickramasinghe introduced the “English-for-all” initiative three months ago with the aim of enhancing English literacy levels at both school and university levels.

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Source:: LNW English