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Sri Lanka rural e-learning project seeks corporate support

Sri Lanka rural e-learning project seeks corporate support

Dec 04, 2007 (LBO) - A Sri Lankan e-learning initiative for rural
students is seeking corporate sector support to expand and cover 400
computer centers around the island, its designers said.

The Shilpa Sayura project initiated by eFusion, a local software
company, is a learning tool for rural students who do not have the
necessary number of teachers and lack resources to continue studies.

"We have got five million rupees from the government as a grant and
the pilot project was implemented in 20 locations in Sri Lanka,"
Niranjan Meegammana of eFusion told LBO.

E-fusion was a pioneer in bringing Sinhala language Unicode script
into the world wide web through it Kaputa.com website. The plan to
expand the learning system to 400 locations is restricted due to the
operational cost, Meegammana says.

"We are trying to reach Sri Lanka's corporate sector and if we can tap
the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives of the
corporates who are trying to help rural communities, we can make a
difference in how they learn and study in the villages,"

Shilpa Sayura was initiated with eight subjects of the Ordinary Level
curriculum that is based on the national syllabus.

The company has now increased the range of subjects to 11, covering
information communication technology, media, English and Tamil,
according to the demands of students.

Shilpa Sayura was among seven ICT-based projects that was recognized
by i4d, an international software award scheme for their contribution
in the areas such as digital literacy and electronic governance.

The award is of significance as Shilpa Sayura was only one of two
projects outside India to win, Reshan Dewapura, chief operating
officer of the state ICT agency ICTA, said.

The project runs in collaboration with ICTA and children in rural
communities have the opportunity of accessing the e-learning system
through the Nenasala computer telecenters set up by the ICTA.

The island has more than 350 such telecenters and ICTA plans to expand
its number up to 1,000 by 2008.

Source : Lanka Business Online
Dec 6 '07 #1
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