June 18th, 2007 - Posted By
Information Communication Technology (ICT) will be included as a
subject in the Advanced Level examination curriculum from 2009, said
Secretary to the Ministry of Education Ariyarathne Hewage.
He said approval for the ICT policy for education will be obtained
soon and it will help develop capacity, train teachers, set up ICT
centres and build private public partnerships.
Ariyarathne was addressing the academia career guidance pre meet
organised by the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA)
which will host the National ICT Capacity Summit and National ICT
Career Fair (NICS 2007) from September 1-2 in Colombo.
Ariyarathne said information technology and computer science has
grown at a phenomenal rate to a US$ 1 trillion industry but the
country has not been able to keep pace with developments due to the
lack of skilled IT personnel. The challenge today is to get IT
professionals for the market. The IT workforce grew by 10,000 during
Over 14,000 IT workers are required to meet the industry needs in
the next two years. This year 5,755 graduates are needed for the
industry, he said.
The attrition rate for the IT workforce in the country has doubled
from 6.6 percent in 2004 to 13 percent in 2006. Fixation is an
obstacle to the growth of the IT industry.
Parents and teachers want their students to become doctors and
engineers and not IT professionals. Students are directed to sit for
examinations to enter universities without providing them career
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has volunteered to support Sri Lanka
to develop capacity building in Information Communication Technology
(ICT) by setting up a microsoft centre for excellence in the
The Ministry of Education has introduced several programs to develop
IT in the country and the e-village concept is one such program to
bridge the digital divide.
The village program was launched in Mahawilachchiya, Nihiluwa,
Mahalakotuwa, Pitakumbura, Nikawewa and Dhamana.
General Manager Virtusa, Madu Ratnayake said with the shift from an
industry based economy to a knowledge based economy world dependence
on IT has grown tremendously.
The BPO industry in Asia is growing at a rapid pace. According to a
survey by AT Kearney Global Service Ltd. Sri Lanka is ranked 29
among the top 50 countries in outsourcing. India which is ranked
first has a vibrant IT industry which contributes 5-6 percent of the
ICT will be the next growth wave for jobs and wealth creation in the
country, he said.