Mirror Magazine

Bringing the globe closer to home
Eighty-five students from various schools gathered at the BMICH for ‘Youth ICT Quest 2004’. Organised by the ICT Club of D. S. Senanayake College together with the Information and Communication Technology Agency, Sri Lanka, the focus of this first ever workshop and conference was to build a consensus among the ICT-oriented students in the country.

Taking control of their future, the participants discussed and analysed possible solutions to the ICT related problems in Sri Lanka. The key issues included, the intellectual property law, Sri Lanka’s software industry, destruction of computer programmes, awareness for the ICT industry beyond the field of computers and the involvement of the youth in taking ICT into rural areas in the county. In ten groups, these students shared their views and ideas which were then explained to the rest of the audience by the elected group leader. Their aim was to come up with a “National Students Agreement” for a youth action plan for better ICT education in the country.

For ICT to achieve a significant place in the education system of the country there must necessarily be a network of students involved. As such an Interschool ICT Association seemed the ideal solution. The participants who came from 30 Colombo Schools, evaluated the possibility of such an association, each contributing with their own personal opinions and ideas.

The position of ICT in this country would also depend on the relationship between the people involved and the officials with the power to implement any potential plans. The conference thus served as a meeting ground between the two parties, as well-known names in the ICT field and government officials connected to the relevant organisations, including Prof. Jagath Wickramasinha were present at the event. Enabling the authorities to participate in such events and giving them the opportunity to listen to the youth and consider their ideas would indeed be a stepping-stone to implement some of these plans.

Focusing on the field of education, the students discussed the various ways in which ICT should be brought into the National Education system and explored the possibility of introducing ICT as an Advanced Level subject.

After hours of discussing, planning and scrutinising, the participants came up with signed copies of a Youth Action Plan and a general agreement on the possible solutions for the problems dealt with. And of course a day of fun and hard wok created the all-important network of ICT-oriented students of Sri Lanka!


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