In line with its mission to offer valuable Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education opportunities to rural youth, Sarvodaya-Fusion recently partnered with the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and the National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) to facilitate advanced ICT learning opportunities to students across the island. The Letter of Consent with NIBM and the Partnership Agreement with OUSL was signed and exchanged ceremoniously in Colombo with the patronage of the heads of the two institutes OUSL Vice Chancellor Prof. S. A. Ariadurai and National Institute of Business Management Director General Dr. D. M. A. Kulasooriya.
The Guest of Honour at the occasion was LIRNEAsia and Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Chairman Professor Rohan Samarajiva, while the keynote speaker of the evening was Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya President Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne. Among the other invitees were the academics and senior members of OUSL, NIBM, industry and ground partners.
Sarvodaya-Fusion partners with the Open University of Sri Lanka with the mutual interest in expanding the occupational skills of youth through vocational and tertiary courses using Open Education Resources (OER) developed and made available under Commonwealth of Learning (CoL).
“Since inception, we’ve been able to make momentous changes in the way the ICT education and digital literacy help rural children to develop skills necessary for the 21st century. In the year 2008, at a time when ICT literacy was relatively low in Sri Lanka, we introduced ‘Fusion Education’ as the Sarvodaya-Fusion education unit, mainly targeting marginalised youth and providing them basic computer education. Today we offer them advanced academic and vocational training opportunities to be gainfully employed and achieve sustainable development,” commented Sarvodaya-Fusion General Manager Maithree Malwattegoda in her opening remarks.
The partnership with NIBM opens up a pathway to those students who have completed the Diploma in Computer Science offered by Fusion Education to pursue a range of graduate programs related to multiple fields in ICT at a discounted rate.
Delivering the key note address Dr. Ariyaratne said, “While urban children have begun to hone their digital skills in readiness to be part of the fourth industrial revolution, children in rural area are still lagging behind. This status quo is the result of lack of opportunities. Our new partnerships with these reputed educational institutes will pave the way for children across the nation to perfect their innate talent and pursue success in the ICT field.”
Having developed a well-proven model for educating and training rural and semi-urban student masses and establishing a sustainable grassroots educator network, the organisation strongly feels that these two strategic partnerships will pave the way to many youth to obtain industry recognised qualifications and certification which will lead to direct employment opportunities. It will further enable them to gain access to higher learning opportunities attached to these renowned educational bodies going up to graduate and post graduate programmes in varied disciplines as per one’s choice.
“Sarvodaya-Fusion is doing valuable work in helping the future generation of Sri Lanka discover their innate talent and become digital leaders. Our country is blessed with talented youth. Sarvodaya-Fusion is involved in building bridges to help youth in rural areas to reach the global IT arena,” commented Prof. Samarajiva.
With its undying efforts, Sarvodaya-Fusion will continue to venture into newer opportunities and partnerships to empower communities with supplementary knowledge, skills and resources on par with industry standards, which bring in economic and social uplift keeping in line with national development goals.