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Who hurled the first stone in Aluthgama?

An interrogation on the contribution of the Freiri-


an notion of Banking Model Education in Sri
Lanka in proliferating nationalism
Monday, 07th July 2014
From 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm
at Room No. 228, Faculty of Arts, Unversity of Colombo
The most frequent question in Aluthgama incident focuses on who hurled the first stone. According to
some Bodu Bala Sena had thrown the first stone, while some others point the finger at the Muslim ex-
tremists. Another group holds those who constructed a Sinhalese nationalist ideology responsible for these
developments. However, who are the people who structured a Sinhalese nationalist ideology? Why does a
majority in our society accept myths socialized by them? Does Sri Lankan education have a role in this
regards? Could a country like Sri Lanka with public education contributing to a superior rate of literacy
among the people have such high proportion of nationalism?
This is why we should question Free Education which by no means is free and the concept of literacy
which is illiterate on analytics and logic. This is the context in which we should scutinize Sri Lankan edu-
cation system which attempts to deposit knowledge like depositing money in a bank.
Organized by:
Department of History at University of Colombo and Education Renaissance Programme (ERP)
For informaton Damith-071-2341311/ Amali- 071-8135581
What is the Banking Model of Education?
Banking model of education is a definition put forward by Paulo Freire
on the existing education system. The following are the characteristics
of a Banking model of education.
01. The teacher teaches and the students are taught;
02. The teacher knows everything and the students know nothing;
03. The teacher thinks and the students are thought about;
04. The teacher talks and the students listenmeekly;
05. The teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined;
06. The teacher chooses and enforces his choice, and the students
comply;
07. The teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting
through the action of the teacher;
08. The teacher chooses the program content, and the students (who
were not consulted) adapt to it;
09. The teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his or her
own professional authority, which she and he sets in opposition
to the freedom of the students;
10. The teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the
pupils are mere objects.
Aluthgama Incident and the banking model of education in Sri
Lanka
We have an approach to read the story of Dutugemunu and Elara.
Moreover, there is a method according to which we are taught about
the territory, nation and religion. We rarely think beyond these
parameters. Our education system does not indicate the possibility
for falsehood to be included in Mahawamsa, wicked kings being
portrayed as heroes, unwise kings being portrayed as wise ones and
wrong and unjust actions being portrayed as just. While we talk
about ruins of palaces and religious places in Anuradhapura, we are
completely oblivious to the voids in history exposed by the lack of
reference to archeological evidence of housing of the ordinary
people. What nurtures this uncritical mind?
Naivety is the biggest problem in Sri Lankan education system.
While we cannot perceive beyond the Sinhalese edition of our
written history, for a careful assessor of the Sri Lankan education
system it is evident that the education system plays a principal role
in socializing the idea that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Buddhist country
and that Tamils and Muslims are outsiders.
Some are of mind that those who created a Sinhalese nationalist
discourse are the ones that hurled the first stone in Aluthgama.
However, who created those who constructed a Sinhalese nationalist
discourse? Why did a majority accept their discourse the instant it
was introduced to the society? Could a society with a favourable
literacy rate as it is the case in Sri Lanka have such high propensity
to nationalism? These are the questions we should pose.
In addition, the context demands questioning the degree of openness
and freedom in free education, reasons for governments for
maintaining a banking model of education which is restricted and
controlled and the manner in which an education system propagate
nationalism.
At the same time, the discussion will focus on the GCE O/L text
books and Peace Education introduced a couple of years ago.