Promoting National Unity in Sri Lanka Through Education

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It took three decades of war, ethnic conflict and loss of thousands of lives for Sri Lankans to realize the importance of unity. Sri Lanka now stands in a position where the country is gradually recovering from brutal wounds of war and this is high time for the nation to look into aspects of promoting unity among diverse cultures and ethnic groups to avoid the reoccurrence of such a tragedy. One way of achieving unity among different ethnic groups is through education. Enlightenment of the nation about the importance of unity can only be achieved by educating people. This essay will analyze the ways of achieving unity through education with relation to the Sri Lankan society.

Language is a powerful tool which can be used to achieve mutual understanding among cultures. It can also be used to share knowledge. So it is important to break language barriers between people in order to bridge them through communication. As the 20 million population of Sri Lanka consists of people belonging to diverse ethnic groups where, more than one language is used, it is important to promote a trilingual education system, provided the most widely spoken languages in Sri Lanka being Sinhala, English and Tamil. The learning of all aforementioned languages should be made compulsory at primary level. Education in schools should be offered in all three mediums and the equal importance of these languages should be emphasized.

The adaptation of a trilingual policy in education will facilitate the access to cultural texts and knowledge and promote unity through interactions between students where, mutual understanding can be achieved. Equal importance to all the cultures should be given and students should be educated to respect the customs and traditions of other cultures and religions or racial groups.

Once steps are taken to break the language barrier, interactions between students from all parts of the country should be promoted. This could be done through extracurricular...
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