Fake Oxford, Cambridge mania
Posted on October 18th, 2013

By‚  PA Niroshan Pathberiya Courtesy The Nation

It is undeniable that everyone with a sense of education would consider it an honor to attend a university like Oxford or Cambridge in England. An opportunity to study at Oxford or Cambridge comes through a challenging as well as costly process.‚  Fluency in English is a must as well as vigorous academic performance, when it comes to gaining admission.‚  In simple terms it is -once in a lifetime opportunity-. Nevertheless, a conscious walk along a town , looking at the posters or watch television can make you realize that Oxford and Cambridge courses have recently been offered by lots of private tuition-masters in Sri Lanka. What is intriguing here is that they have no affiliation with those universities other than the internet connection that can connect them to Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

The trend of learning English has taken a new approach in Sri Lanka these days. A person, during the break after G.C.E Ordinary Level or Advanced Level examination mostly think of improving , as they would say in the vernacular language, Kaduwa. This is where these fake Oxford and Cambridge people appear as saviours, who offer classes to learn this vast entity of English language in 3 to 6 months.

These institutes are very interesting. They offer things to you from a colorful file-cover to T-shirts with names Oxford or Cambridge printed on them in big letters. They even use the same font and style University of Oxford uses, with no affiliation to the University of Oxford or any such institute what so ever. Some who teaches at these at these -so-called Oxfords- have not even have passed G.C.E. Ordinary Level examinations. This is no exaggeration. They claim they have a -ËœDiploma-â„¢ in English or -ËœHigher Diploma-â„¢ or -ËœAdvanced Diploma-â„¢ in English. However when you inquire about the qualification, you realize that, their Diploma is also form an institute similar to the ones they are running. Some of them do have a recognized degree or a diploma, but they also issue certificates to lure and deceive their students, which is far more dangerous and disgusting. Now, when you, who read this article, ask whether the public buy these lies. I hesitantly have to say -yes-.

I met one person at an interview, who had failed both the G.C.E Ordinary Level and Advanced Level English subject but had obtained a so called -ËœDiploma-â„¢ certificate form an institute with the title -ËœOxford-â„¢. Tragically she was expecting her failed grade for Ordinary Level English to be substituted by this -ËœDiploma-â„¢ certificate. In another instance, I heard a father talking to the person seated next to him in the bus, he said that he sent his son for an -Oxford English course- in Avissawella. He added -Oxford English courses are world recognized-. Now, imagine for a moment, someone at an international level interview, with such a certificate claiming that he or she has the qualification. What kind of an embarrassment would it be? Parents and students spend a whole lot of money, needless to say, undergoing dire difficulties, hoping to get a qualification that is valid. By the time you know the real story, it is too late.

Now you might have grasped the picture properly. Private classes for English are not the issue. School leavers following English courses or learning English is nothing to be criticized. In fact it is something we should appreciate and encourage. However, it is highly doubtful whether they are aware of the validity and the recognition of these courses. Any academic institution, to be recognized, needs to follow a certain procedure. A Bachelor-â„¢s Degree needs to complete certain criteria and so does a Diploma. Any institute, in Sri Lanka that needs the recognition for the academic courses it offer, needs to be registered by the government. This is when a certificate or any academic qualification or course becomes valid and recognized.

Using the names Oxford, London, British, American or even Australian is anyone-â„¢s choice. And if you have a printer and if you know graphics, printing a certificate is even simpler. What everyone should be attentive of is the recognition of these courses. When Sakwithi Ranasinghe-â„¢s fraud came out, the authorities opened their eyes to announce the legitimacy of a financial organization. To use the very word -finance- the organization or the particular association needs to be registered with the Central bank. Then, in the field of academic education, why are we waiting till the horse sprints to close the stable door? It is time to open our eyes and look at this and save an entire generation from embarrassment and improper education, for as Alexander Pope would say -Little knowing is a dangerous thing-.

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One Response to “Fake Oxford, Cambridge mania”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    There are lot of illegal Tutories in Sri Lanka, which can be equated to unclean eateries. There is no regulatory body, to check on these Tutories, and find out whether the Teachers are actually qualified to teach English. What is the Minister of Education doing about it.? NOTHING. He is in a Rat Race lining his pockets with Moolah, and hardly find the time to think of Policy matters. The result is, the poor students and their parents spend hard earned money to be tricked by Masters of DECEPTION. We all express our sentiments in vain. The imbeciles in Parliament will not hear it, will refuse to see it, and are dumb to express on regulatory policy, because they too are uneducated nit wits.

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