North Central Province

Aiming at encouraging girls and young women to pursue an education and embark upon careers in the ICT sector, “Girls in ICT” Programme was completed successfully on the 26th of July 2016 at Anada Balika Vidyalaya, Hingurakgoda from 8.30am to 1.30pm. The event was organized by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) in collaboration with the ICT Branch of the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Provincial Education Department (PED) and Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog).

The programme was held with Forty (40) students studying in the G.C.E. Advanced Level ICT stream invited from eight (08) selected schools in North Central Province (NCP).

ICT teachers in charge of those schools were also invited to participate so that they would be able to take back and share the lessons learnt from the programme with the other students of their respective schools.

The opening ceremony was initiated with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the principal of Anada Balika Vidyalaya, officials from TRCSL, MOE, PED and Dialog.

First and foremost, Mrs. Tharalika Livera, Deputy Director-Compliance of TRCSL gave a brief introduction on “Girls in ICT” day programme and its objectives. There after Mr. Neil Gunadasa, Director of ICT MOE and Mrs. Shyama Wijesekara, Principal of the school highlighted the importance of having these workshops for students in their speeches. Mrs. Rukmalee Premarathna, Mr. P.S. Jayasundara and Mr. D.M. Wickramasinghe for MOE and PED graced the occasion.

By opening the interactive work session of the programme, Mr. Shafraz Rheem from the Idea Mart team of Dialog stated that the main purpose of the programme is to educate and empower young girls on the vast possibilities available to them to better their communities using ICT and mobile applications as a tool.

The latest generation of smartphones are increasingly viewed as a utensil rather than as a phone. Due to the variety of “apps” embedded in to the mobile platform, “mobile app” adoption is driven by the user experience more than for any other type of application. Mobile users typically have urgent needs to access information or complete a specific task by using a “mobile app” to talk/text to their loved ones, on line purchasing, bill payments, read news and also to the listen to the music. Apple store, Google Play etc. is growing with thousands plus apps a day. Nevertheless, some app developers are creating customized apps for local market as a hobby, while some developers consider this as a profitable business.

Mr. Shafraz and the team members of Idea Mart Mr.Madushan Ratnayake, Mr. Pasindu de Silva, Mr. Shadeet Hisham and Ms.Nadeeshani Wijewardana took the students step by step as to how to create a “mobile app “using the Idea Mart platform, governed by Dialog.

Dialog’s Idea Mart platform enables developers to leverage the core network capabilities to encourage budding young application developers to build and launch mobile applications. Idea Mart has been recognized at the Global Mobile Awards 2015 as the Best Technology Enabler for the community empowerment done since its inception in 2012.

Q&A session was an interesting and interactive session, where students and teachers were able to raise and resolve many of their issues and concerns with regard to mobile app development and also higher education and career paths.

The enthusiasm seen at the workshop has indicated that the event was a success. The students and teachers appreciated everything they experienced and gathered knowledge on. They further requested that this event be held in school levels or at least district level throughout the country.

Each student and teacher received a flash drive from TRCSL and corporate gifts from Dialog as a courtesy.

At the end of the workshop, a token of appreciation was awarded to each of the resource persons, teachers and students. In addition, the students were given a certificate for their participation.

The programme was concluded at 1.30pm.

[Sinhala]

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