Through out the history of Sri Lanka, the decisions related to language education made by responsible decision makers, have pushed the country towards disputes, unrest, distrust among each other, lack of harmony and inefficiency in the competent world aiming towards a global village. President Rajapakse’s annoucemnt gives us a ray of hope about a potentiality to change a generational mistake.
Malathie Kalpana Ambrose
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will officially declare 2009 as the Year of English and Information and Technology (IT) today.
Gracing this event in Colomo besides other dignitaries will be Dr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, the father of IT in India, Chairman and Mentor of Infosys Technologies Limited and famous icon of entrepreneurship in modern India.
It is a pledge embodied in the Mahinda Chintana policy statement that the English and information technology literacy of the people of this country, especially, the youth will be raised to a substantially high level
In an important move to promote English and ICT in 2009 in a special way as the English and ICT Year, two task forces were also set up for carrying out the special tasks in the field of English and ICT. The relevant task forces have been doing immense work though in relative silence. The presidential task force for the year of English and ICT is headed by Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama and the English segment is coordinated by Mr. Sunimal Fernando, Advisor to the President. There are other ICT related organisations which are working with the task forces, and in addition they have their own activities designed to be implemented aligned to the year of English and ICT.
The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka as the apex body of the ICT in Sri Lanka assists the task forces in implementing their tasks and apart from that there will be several ICT activities planned by ICTA. There will be one major activity every month organized by ICTA during the year of ICT.
The key focus of the English and ICT year is to make the general public have the knowledge of English so that, inter alia, they can access world knowledge and be aware of the opportunities and the capabilities of the Information and Communication Technology sector as well as increasing their English and ICT literacy rate and ultimately putting in place a plan to ensure that Sri Lanka has sufficient English learning and ICT resources to take the country to the next level in English and ICT led development. Creating ICT awareness in the country is a lengthy exercise. The whole generation needs to be educated about the importance of learning information and communication technology and pursuing ICT as a career. The benefits and effectiveness of ICT and the demand for the IT professional are still not fully apparent to the general public. Lots of parents encourage their children to become doctors, engineers, lawyers etc, but very few people encourage them to become IT professionals. The reason behind this, is the lack of knowledge of the opportunities of ICT and the new avenues available for the younger generation to build up their careers. Information and communication technology has become the pathway of most of the advancements in other professions as well. In that sense the younger generation can get involved in most of the innovative technology and revenue generation for the country which will in turn help to boost the economy of the country.