Consultative Committee disagrees on English being made mandatory at Law College
The Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice, Prisons Affairs and Constitutional Reforms did not agree to the decision taken by the Council of Legal Education to make the mandatory medium of examination of the Sri Lanka Law College. The disagreement arose when the Ministerial Consultative Committee met in Parliament on Friday under the chairmanship of the Minister Dr.Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in Parliament.
The Members present questioned the Law College Principal Dr. Athula Pathinayake who was present at the Committee, the purpose and reasoning behind making the mandatory medium of examination of the Sri Lanka Law College English.
The Members were of the view that many who are already in the legal filed have excelled well and they have done so by writing for Law College examination under the liberty to sit for examinations in a preferred language. Therefore, the Committee was of the view that those who wish to become lawyers writing for exams in their mother tongue has never been a hindrance for excellence.
Moreover, The Committee Members were of the view that Primary Courts mainly use Sinhala and Tamil as the main language during court proceedings. It is only the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court that use English. Furthermore, the Members present pointed out that in the North and where there are a majority of Tamils and Muslims, Court hearings are conducted in Tamil and in areas where a majority are Singhalese court proceedings are carried out in Sinhala.
Members further mentioned that it is a ground reality that English education is lacking in most rural areas and by making Examinations mandatory in English is a violation of fundamental rights. Thus, the Committee was of the view that a student is required to have the liberty to face the examination in their mother tongue which is their primary language.
Given the context, the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice, Prisons Affairs and Constitutional Reforms did not agree with the decision taken by the Council of Legal Education on the said matter.
Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapakse, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Minister (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardana, Members of Parliament Rauff Hakeem, Dilan Perera, Gevindu Cumaratunga, Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Buddhika Pathirana,Uddika Premarathna, Sagara Kariyawasam, Udaya Gammanpila, Mohomad Muzammil, Udayana Kirindigoda, Lalith Ellawala, Gamini Waleboda, Dr. Upul Galappaththi, Madhura Withanage, Premnath C. Dolawatte, Prof.Charitha Herath, Ishak Rahuman, H. M. M. Harees, M. S. Thowfeek were present at the Committee meeting held.