Archive for July, 2009

Nenasa TV – 1000 Schools to be Connected to Sri Lanka’s first Satellite Television Education Bridge

July 24, 2009
NenasaTV Launch

NenasaTV Launch

H.E. the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, launched ’Nenasa’ – a Digital Satellite Television based Distance Education Bridge, managed and operated by the MoE and the National Institute of Education (NIE). ’Nenasa’ will connect 1,000 rural schools in Sri Lanka to high-quality rendition of the national curriculum, developed by the NIE over a digital satellite television broadcast medium.

This is another joint initiative of Dialog Telekom under the theme of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D). This would deliver rural children the quality education and would minimize the Digital Divide in Sri Lanka.

NenasaTV is a gift to the Ministry of Education and Sri Lanka’s student population from Dialog Telekom PLC. The project has been funded by Dialog Telekom as a part of its Corporate Responsibility programme under the theme of ICT4D.

Addressing the gathering, H. E. the President, said: “Our Government is making every effort to harness the potential of rural Sri Lanka, with special emphasis on enhancing educational facilities in remote regions including the newly-liberated areas in the North and East”.

The NIE will develop contents for ‘Nenasa’, which in turn will be broadcast by Dialog to all 1,000 schools. ‘Nenasa’ will be dedicated towards broadcasting educational content and cater to the Ordinary Level and Advanced Level syllabus in Sinhala and Tamil. In addition, teacher-training and skills development would also be included in the programme line-up. These lessons will be supplemented by a Learning Management System (LMS) http://www.nenasa.lk/.

-Sameera.

ICT for Agriculture in Sri Lanka

July 8, 2009

sameera_dairyFarmerWithMobile

The agriculture sector in Sri Lanka employs 31.3% of the total labor force of the country, but its contribution to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) is just 11.9% (Central Bank of Sri Lanka). So, basically one third of the labor force is utilized to produce the just over ten percent of the GDP.

This is just one side of the issue, but when we consider other issues related to this, such as large amount of government’s money spent on agriculture as subsidies (fertilizer subsidies, etc.) which can be invested on some other sector for better results, continuous poverty of rural people who are engaged in agriculture, etc. – it is clear that we have a issue of productivity within the agriculture sector and we need to address it immediately.

There are many factors (policy, legal framework, technology, knowledge, markets, research, etc.) to be considered while trying to improve the productivity of agriculture, but in all of them the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can definitely play a role of a catalyst.

Fortunately this has been understood, by the various stakeholders in the agriculture sector and as a result we can see many initiatives under the theme of ICT4 Agriculture today in Sri Lanka. As an attempt to bring all those different initiatives to one platform, Prof. Mangala De Zoysa (University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka) and some other likeminded people have organized the Sri Lanka’s first ever ICT4 Agriculture Conference (http://www.itfac.mrt.ac.lk/conference/), which is really a need of the hour.

-Sameera.
http://ict4d-in-srilanka.blogspot.com/