Since we have discussed ‘Digital divide’ in length, let me share this concept note from my electronic annals. This is an idea a private sector IT company had few years back, but due to various reasons never implemented. They suggest a method to convert the TVs to Internet enabled PCs as a way to bridge the digital divide, using something called a ‘set top’ box. Central Bank Consumer Finance survey 2004 had found over 75% of the houses have TVs while the PC penetration level was much lower. (Specially in rural areas it was like 1-2%) So converting TVs to PCs makes lots of sense.

Google bans essay writing adverts

Posted on May 23, 2007  /  3 Comments

By Sean Coughlan BBC News education reporter Google is to ban adverts for essay writing services – following claims that plagiarism is threatening the integrity of university degrees. There have been complaints from universities about students being sold customised essays on the internet. The advert ban from the Google search engine has been “warmly welcomed” by university authorities. But it has angered essay writing firms which say this will unfairly punish legitimate businesses. From next month, Google will no longer take adverts from companies which sell essays and dissertations – and the internet company has written to advertisers to tell them about the policy.
‘Digital divide’ may be a term which came under the spotlight quite recently, but what meant by it existed in our societies for centuries, if not millennia. Significant differences between banks of knowledge possessed by different sections of society were visible probably since medieval times. The ancient Hindu society was an ideal example. In that society, the supreme right not only to protect and nurture the knowledge but also to generate the same, to some extent was solely on the hands of the Brahmins. That was how they, not the Kshathriyas – the rulers – or the Vaishyas – the rich – formed the most important, most powerful and the most honoured layer of the society.
 Startling Figures of the GCE O/L 2006 results ·  52500 candidates sit for GCE O/L. · 48.7% pass ·  51% fail · 21813 candidates fail all subjects (4128 from Colombo District), (3564 from Central province), 3404 (from Southern province) (2668 from Sabaragamuwa) (2277 from Uva) (2056 from North Central) (2039 from North Western) (773 from Eastern) and 704 from Northern province. · 47 schools and 40 pirivena institutes did not have a single student qualifying for the GCE A/L (9 schools in Colombo), (3 schools in Homagama), (3 schools in Jayawardenapura), (12 schools in Galle, (7 schools in Ambalangoda), (13 schools in Ratnapura) · Of the 258,975 who sat the English language paper 63.18% failed · Of the 259,263 who sat the Mathematics paper 57.
A news item in Lankadeepa last week says that Grade 1-5 would be removed from National schools and set up as separate neighborhood schools for which admissions would be solely based on proximity to the school. At this point these are only recommendations made in response to a supreme court decision  making current system of admissions unconstitutional. At the seminar on “Year 1 Admissions” that the Education Forum held sometime back we indeed posed that option as a solution to the year-1 admissions problem. Should all government-run popular schools get out of primary education, reserving all class spaces, including those freed up by the closure of elementary schools, to those who pass the 5th grade scholarship exam? And we received support for the argument from those who gathered.
  Keith Ng      16 May 2007   “The Future. Today.” boasts a rusty billboard pushing mobile phone service in Batticaloa, a coastal town in Sri Lanka’s troubled eastern province.  Batticaloa is at the center of a renewed military campaign to drive out the separatist forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. From bases around the district and from the town itself, government artillery bombards suspected Tiger positions day and night.
Or Has IT even begun to matter in the business sector in Sri Lanka? Is it because we focus on the technology, not the information management applications of IT? Does the problem lie with IT educators who have not had exposure? Does IT Matter?’’ was the topic of the LBR-LBO Chief Information Officer Forum yesterday (May 16, 2007).
There have been some posts about IT education in Sri Lanka. This article, written and first appeared in a business magazine in 2003, illustrates the job opportunities in the Sri Lankan IT field and what sort of education one should have to target the entry level jobs available in the market. Things might have changed a bit since then, but there might be few still who might find it useful. Jobs in IT – What path to follow?   It sounds so peculiar that once we lived in a world where there was not a single ‘IT Professional’.
Disaster in Education : Case in Sri Lanka We need to address following issues 1) is this the result of so called FREE ( Free of Charge- Nomile) Education in Sri Lanka ? 2) We have a strong feeling that the 48+% who passed the GCE have attended tution classes? 3) Do examiners qualified to set papers? ( Of course they are Senior Academics). Can they or teachers answer them in examination conditions successfully?
 National Policy on Information Technology in School Education Source : In an effort to fully utilise funding and other relevant resources, the Government of Sri Lanka established an IT Education Unit at the Ministry of Education in February 2001 and prepared a National Policy on School IT Education, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in October 2001.