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ICTA collaborates with VTA in streamlining ‘Nenasala’ IT education

The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and the

Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka (VTASL) signed an MoU recently boosting recognition of ICT education at Nenasalas. 

ICTA Chairman, Senior Presidential Advisor and Peradeniya University Chancellor Professor P. W. Epasinghe  and VTASL Chairman Colonel S.R.P. Ratnayake signed the MoU at the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry. 

The  aim of the MoU is to launch a project leading to issuing  a recognized certificate to students attending the  programme of ICT training and education at Nenasalas..

According to the MoU, VTASL has agreed to collaborate with ICTA for offering a recognized certificate to  students attending ICT education through Nenasalas using infrastructure facilities provided by ICTA.  The certificate is to be given. for students who successfully complete the relevant Programme, in Information and Communication Technology education and training.

Memorable day
Participating in the occasion Telecommunication and Infromation Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said: “Today is a day in which the foundation is laid for the realisation of a long felt need. With the signing of this MoU, ICTA and VTASL launch the project for offering recognized certificates to students following the relevant training programme at Nenasalas.  . President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his foresight  wanted the benefits of ICT accrue to all citizens, and in particular to people in remote villages. In 2004 when the mantle of Prime Minister fell on President Mahinda Rajapaksa the ICT literacy was 4 per cent. Out of these four out of a hundred, three were from the city, only one was from the village. With the farsighted vision President Mahinda Rajapaksa kicked off the first Nenasala at Kirivehera on first January 2005”. 

“Today there are 838 Nenasalas island-wide including the North and the East. There is a Nenasala in Delft too. Very much due to this flagship project – the Nenasala project - today the ICT literacy has hit the 50 per cent mark. By the year end, thanks to the efforts of ICTA and officers who offer their silent service, the 1000th Nenasala will be set up and declared open by the President. Recognising the importance of ICT, the President set up a separate Ministry for ICT in 2010. The country is now moving towards successfully meeting the challenges put forward to the people by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. One of  these challenges is for Sri Lanka to become 75 per cent ICT literate by 2016. Another is to create 100,000 ICT jobs by the same year (2016). This NVQ 3 certificate will be a great boon to all the citizens of Sri Lanka.”

NVQ 3 can lead to a degree
Speaking at the signing of the MoU,  Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said: “The VTASL set up in 1996  is the first political child of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. As Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya of Dayata Kirula fame and a former deputy Finance Minister said, the President is a leader of great foresight. 

Our grandparents wrote on sand. We wrote on the slate. Our children wrote on exercise books. A time may come when traditional class room may become obsolete. A time may soon come when the country is 100 per cent ICT literate. Let us be prepared to become a shining country. Let us think ‘ad astra’ The development we can reach we cannot even imagine now. It will certainly far exceed our expectations. This is a historical day when the MoU for launching a project for providing  recognized certificates to students at Nenasalas is signed by ICTA and VTASL. Initially this certificate will be at level 3.  This can lead to levels, 4, 5, 6 or even 7 and become equivalent to a degree. These certificates will ensure an equal standard among all participants in the relevant programme”.  

Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry Secretary B. Wijeratne and ICTA Senior Programme Head – Re-engineering Government and Admin. and Operations D.C. Dissanayake also addressed the gathering. Among those who graced the occasion were ICTA Chairman, Senior Presidential Advisor and Peradeniya University Chancellor Professor P. W. Epasinghe and VTASL Chairman Colonel S.R.P. Ratnayake.and Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry Acting Secretary Sumitra Kannangara. 

Caption IMG_4003
Signing of MoU: From left: Acting Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry Secretary Sumitra Kannangara, ICTA Chairman, Senior Presidential Advisor and Peradeniya University Chancellor Professor P. W. Epasinghe, Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry Secretary B. Wijeratne, VTASL Chairman Colonel S.R.P. Ratnayake and  Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry Director Admin. Manoja Pathirana.

Caption IMG_4012
Handing over of MoU documents: From left: Acting Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry Secretary Sumitra Kannangara, ICTA Chairman, Senior Presidential Advisor and Peradeniya University Chancellor Professor P. W. Epasinghe , Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, VTASL Chairman Colonel S.R.P. Ratnayake and Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry Director Admin. Manoja Pathirana.

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