Full Steam Ahead on Official Language Policy Implementation

NLEAP spearheads Workshop for Language Planning and 1956 Call Centre

NLEAP in collaboration with the National Languages Division of the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government, organized a workshop on Language Planning and the 1956 Call Centre, two key focal areas in the implementation of the Official Languages Policy. Held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on the 16th of March 2021 the main goals of the workshop were to revisit and expand the Technical Team on Language Planning (TTLP), to identify the Terms of Reference and the related training needs of the Technical Team and to discuss the way forward on upgrading the 1956 Call Center. Participating in the workshop were representatives from the National Languages Divisions and its partner Institutions, the Official Languages Commission (OLC), the Department of Languages (DOL) and the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET). Also joining the discussion and providing their invaluable, hands-on insight and input were the National Integration Promotion Officers (NIPAs) operating from the District Secretary Offices.

The development of comprehensive Language Plans by State and Government Institutions has been recognized as being critical to the effective implementation of Sri Lanka’s Official Languages Policy (OLP). The role that will be played by the Technical Team on Language Planning (TTLP) appointed to provide advisory support to Government Institutions will be a vital one. Just before the onset of COVID it was agreed to expand this Technical Team to include Officials from each of the main Partner Institutions that work alongside the Ministry. Now amidst the challenges and restrictions posed by COVID, the expansion of this team has become time critical to ensuring the effective island-wide roll out of the Language Plans. 30 Government Institutions have already been selected to model development of Language Planning, Implementation and Monitoring. The Technical Assistance provided to these institutions will be the starting point of ensuring the island-wide implementation of Language Plans by all Government Institutions.