President Mahinda Rajapaksa presided at the launch of 'English for Young Learners' - a joint program by Lanka IOC and the Faiszer Musthapha Foundation to improve English proficiency of children from under-privileged communities in the Colombo district.
The event took place at the Musaeus College Auditorium yesterday.
The six month program for 1,500 students from Dhamma or Sunday schools from the Colombo district is conducted by the Cosmopolitan Learning Academy.
Investment Promotion Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha who heads the foundation named after him said his aim is to eliminate the gap between English and non-English speaking classes, by improving the language proficiency of the latter.
Musthapha said: "Today English language has become a barrier for some to obtain lucrative jobs even though they possess qualifications and talents. I hope to bridge this gap by encouraging and helping to improve proficiency of those who lack fluency in the language".
He said through this program, he hopes to carry forward the concept of ensuring equal education for all as described in the 'Mahinda Chinthana' vision.
Lanka IOC Managing Director Subodh Dakwale said his organization had undertaken this project which is aimed at improving the English language proficiency of the less privileged as their corporate social responsibility.
Dakwale said his organisation is engaged in many social welfare activities in Sri Lanka and added that happiness derived through these initiatives could not be measured in monetary terms.
The President also distributed school equipment among children.
President Rajapaksa also opened the most sophisticated scanner installed at Nawaloka Hospital yesterday.
The new scanner which is a product of the Toshiba Institute of Japan, is the first of its kind installed in a hospital in South Asia.