John Keells launches English for Teens
“I am very happy to have received an English language scholarship
from John Keells”, said a beaming Kaushalya Pathirana, a 12-year-old
student of President’s College, Rajagiriya. Kaushalya spoke to us
recently at the John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation.
“I want to be a software engineer when I grow up and I feel that
improving my English competency would be very important for my future.
It’s great that a program such as this is being conducted for us,” he
Kaushalya incidentally scored the highest marks among the registrants
of the program at Gateway Language Centre, Colombo. He is actively
involved in swimming and cricket at school and his favourite subjects
include IT, Maths, Science and Health.
“I am pleased that Kaushalya won this scholarship and obtained the
highest marks, said his mother Gayani, adding that being competent in
the English language would be very important for her son, especially if
he were to go overseas.”
14-year-old Sanduni Rajika Alahakoon, a student of St. Clare’s Balika
Vidyalaya, Wellawatte, is the daughter of Sumedha.
“The biggest obstacle to my progress professionally was the lack of
English, so I’m very happy that my daughter gets the opportunity to
learn English through a good program like this. There is a world beyond
what we know and English will give my daughter access to it,” said
Alahakoon. Learning English at an institute such as Gateway would also
help in personality development and make young students like his
daughter economically stable one day. Sanduni’s ambition is to become a
nurse and her hobby is reading detective stories and biographies.
With the intention of providing a basic foundation in English
language training for early teens, John Keells Foundation re-launched
the English Language Scholarship Program for schoolchildren in the age
group of 12 to 14 years.
The program for the first batch of students took place on August 1,
at the Gateway Language Centre, Colombo with 100 students from Colombo
and suburbs receiving scholarships. The program will move on to Gateway
Language Centres in Ampara, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Chilaw, Gampaha,
Kurunegala, Matara and Ratnapura with a total of 500 scholarships
awarded under the first intake.
The program for the second intake is scheduled for October and will
be conducted in Bandarawela, Galle, Habarana, Jaffna, Kandy, Negombo,
Panadura, Trincomalee and Vavuniya. The second batch will also consist
of 500 scholars.Begun in 2004, the English Language Scholarship Program
focuses primarily on teaching English for daily use and basic
interactions, helping students understand and use familiar everyday
expressions, such as introducing oneself and others and asking or
answering simple questions. Over the years, the program has sponsored a
range of scholarships.