Thursday, March 31, 2005

Pet Theory NO:1 English Education in Sri Lanka:Part 3:"THE THEORY"

When I saw the article by STEPHEN J. DUBNER on Steven D. Levitt I was stunned.There could be simple answers for the seeming unexplainable complex human behaviour?I think I have a case with the pass rate of GCL O/L English .
When you look at the case It looks like there will be several obvious explanations.
1.The exam became tougher gradually from 1992-1998.
Probably not . I happened to know lot of cousins and neighbours who took the exam at the time.Except the usual distaste for exam I don't think there was a specific case for English.Then how do explain gradual slow down(47-30)?Not in was like 47,42,38,34 etc....)

2. The quality of teachers went down from 1992 -1998.
This one might have a case.It's almost 30 years since 1956 "Sinhala -official Langauage policy" and the teachers who studied before that and were bi-lingual were retiring.From my own experiance I only knew 1 or 2 exceptional cases from "old guard" and didn't see that much of a difference in 80's when the majority were new comers.All these better older teachers were concentrated in handful of urban high schools anyway.

I'm not an economist or a statistitian(although I studied both of them as subjets in my engineering curriculum.I don't remember a thing anymore!)
This one seems like thing we can check.Get the exam numbers from education department from 1981-2003.(why 1981 ?That when the TV was available throughout the country)
Then take TV viewing habit of kids age 10-15 .Get the numbers broken down into langauage ,whether they had subtitles etc....These stats might be found in a locker somewhere in the Rupavahini Corporation or SLBC I guess .
As member of the first generation of Sri Lankans to grow up with TV, I know what kind of influance it had on the whole culture and how it changed in 1990s when the media liberalization happened.I saw what the Hindi invation did to a whole generation.

I will post my experiance and conclusion in the next post.

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