Sri Lanka’s Shilpa Sayura project wins prestigious i4d Award
The Shilpa Sayura project, initiated under the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka’s (ICTA) e-Society Development Initiative gained international recognition last week when it won an i4d award at the eINDIA 2007 Conference in New Delhi, India. It has also been selected as finalist for the Stockholm Challenge GKP awards to be held in Kualalampur , Malaysia on December 13th . Project Leader Niranjan Meegammana will leave the country for Malaysia to attend the award presentation ceremony. Addressing a press conference held in Colombo recently. Project Leader Niranjan Meegammana said that Shilpa Sayura was among seven ICT-based projects that won i4d Awards, for their contribution in the areas of digital literacy, electronic governance etc. The awards were given out during the valedictory session held recently. Central Informatics Organization (CIO), Government of Bahrain, and GDCO, Sudan were amongst the award winners.
The project initiated by eFusion (Pvt) Ltd as a community ICT project with the vision to empower rural students with ICT based educational systems is to improve self-learning capacity while enhancing ICTA’s Nenasala utilization through participative development. The pilot project, initiated with a grant received from ICTA’s e-SDI, aimed to create a digital educational content system in the Sinhala Language to be used initially in 20 nenasalas.
This was to develop the self-learning capacity of remote, rural students. The content will eventually be deployed across the entire Nenasala network presently numbering 400 and scattered throughout the country.
Emphasizing the need to create a knowledge based revolution in rural areas Minister of Environment Patalee Champika Ranawake noted that the talents and skills of children in remote areas should be improved by providing them with IT education. Shilpa Sayura Project used ICT effectively to provide Digital Self Learning as an alternative to resources and teachers lacked remote, rural students. It created an opportunity bridge using ICT for them to come up in life. They are now able to use ICT to study eight subjects digitally at tele centres and develop their knowledge and skills to prepare for national examinations regardless of their educational resource issues.