India donates digital equipment to schools in Lanka’s Southern Province

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Colombo, July 7: A project for posterity! President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Indian High Commissioner Santosh Jha handed over digital equipment to various schools in the Southern Province, in the presence of Ministers Dr Ramesh Pathirana and Dr. Susil Premajayantha and several other dignitaries on Saturday.

This initiative is part of the establishment of 200 Smart Classrooms in Southern Province. Speaking on the occasion HC said that 🇮🇳

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is keen on sharing the benefits of technological advancements in the sphere of education with the students of SriLanka.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said an advanced education system combined with modern technology is needed to move the country forward with a new economy. He said that educational reforms are underway to achieve this goal.

President Wickremesinghe was speaking at a ceremony at Hall De Galle in Galle yesterday (July 6). The event marked a significant step towards educational modernisation, with the provision of 200 Smart Classrooms and 2000 Tabs to 200 schools in the Southern Province.

Following a request by Minister of Health and Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, the Government of India allocated Rs.300 million to the Southern Provincial Council for the project. Of the 200 selected schools, 150 are in the Galle district, while the remaining 50 schools are in the Hambantota and Matara districts.

Two-thousand tabs were distributed, with each of the 200 classrooms receiving 10 tabs. President Wickremesinghe presented a commemorative gift to the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Santosh Jha symbolising the occasion.

The President said, “Currently, the world is advancing rapidly with modern technology. Our country’s education system must also progress in tandem with these technological advancements. The Ministry of Education has initiated educational reforms to achieve this goal.”

He said, “In the past, we introduced educational policies appropriate for their time. However, given the technological advancements of today, there is a pressing need for new reforms in the education sector to ensure our education system remains relevant and effective.

“Thus far, we have launched the setting up of Artificial Intelligence (AI) clubs in schools. Countries such as England and America began integrating AI technology years ago. To ensure the sustainability of our newly launched AI program this year, it is essential for teachers to undergo comprehensive training. The Government is developing training programs and infrastructure to bolster this initiative. There is also a plan to elevate Central Colleges and National Schools into specialised institutions focusing on artificial intelligence,” he said.

The President said, “We deeply appreciate the support extended by neighbouring India in advancing modern technology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed interest in establishing an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Sri Lanka, which is highly appreciated. Negotiations to enhance cooperation in the energy sector with India are progressing. I had discussions with Elon Musk in Malaysia, and his internet technology is anticipated to be introduced in Sri Lanka following Parliamentary approval.”

“This development will facilitate the provision of technical education to students in remote areas. The Southern Province has emerged as a region showcasing exceptional educational talent. Today, the first Dutch school in the Southern Province has evolved into the Baddegama National School. By leveraging modern technology to nurture future-ready generations, we aim to position our country as a global leader,” the President added.

Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha said, “The Free Education Act has brought about a transformative change in Sri Lanka, significantly increasing the literacy rate from 46 percent to 93 percent. In today’s technological age, the integration of Artificial Intelligence and modern classrooms is crucial. We appreciate India’s assistance in this endeavour.”

The Minister said, “Today, 200 schools in the Southern Province have been equipped with comfortable classrooms and 2000 Tabs. Moving forward, the schools will undergo digitisation, with selected 1,250 schools already being connected. Over the next three years, we aim to digitise 10,026 schools and provide teacher training. Graduates with technical expertise from our universities enjoy a 93 percent employment opportunities in the job market. We must seize the opportunity to lead globally through modern technology.”

Minister of Health and Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said, “We deeply appreciate the Government of India for their support in this endeavour. We are experiencing one of the greatest periods of this century. The Free Education Act introduced by then Minister of Education C. W. W. Kannangara, a resident of Galle, significantly increased school enrolment from 52 percent to 99 percent.”

He said the numbers of schools expanded from 3,000 to 10,000, and instead of a single Government university, 13 universities were established. Annual university admissions surged from 250 to 45,000 students. This transformation has propelled Sri Lanka from the country lagging behind in the global industrial revolutions to one progressing alongside the world.

The Minister said in the next century, leveraging Artificial Intelligence, computer knowledge and modern technology presents an opportunity to advance in parallel with the global community. A Smart educational framework must be established to achieve this goal. President Ranil Wickremesinghe is currently spearheading educational reforms with a visionary approach.

Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Santosh Jha said as India’s neighbour, we consistently extend support to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka holds a crucial position in our foreign policy. India remains steadfast in its commitment to providing essential infrastructure and technical knowledge support to Sri Lanka.

END

The post India donates digital equipment to schools in Lanka’s Southern Province appeared first on NewsIn.Asia.

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