ICTA’s digital education initiative reaches over 2,700 schools | Sunday Observer

ICTA’s digital education initiative reaches over 2,700 schools

8 September, 2019
The digital education program creates awareness on the importance of using technology to increase productivity. File pic: Lake House Media Library
The digital education program creates awareness on the importance of using technology to increase productivity. File pic: Lake House Media Library

The digital education initiative of the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has reached over 2,700 schools islandwide enabling school-goers to access and use technology which is an essential component in the rapidly expanding global business landscape, a top official of ICTA told the launch of ‘Disrupt Asia 2019’, Sri Lanka’s premier startup conference and innovation festival to be held for the fourth consecutive year next month.

“The classroom digital education program is not only to take technology to schools but also create awareness and increase interest on the use and importance of technology to enhance efficiency and boost productivity in any sphere of life,” ICTA Senior Consultant Indika de Zoysa said.

ICTA and the Ministry of Education have recognised the importance of improving digital education in Sri Lanka and in line with the goal, many initiatives, such as ‘Smart textbooks’, ‘Edu CSIRT’, and school ICT societies under the ‘Digital Education Master Plan’ have been taken to boost digital education in the country.

ICTA panellists said the past Disrupt Asia’ conferences and innovation festivals have helped many local companies to interact and build business links with global companies and set up operations in other countries.

ICTA Program Head, Industry Development, Sachindra Samararatne said around 29 startups exhibited their innovations at last year’s conference which helped in the match-making for a large number of local and global companies.

“We have many success stories with companies that have pivoted products to offer more to customers. A loyalty platform company pivoted products and similarly many were able to interact with investors and explore opportunities to venture out in their operations,” Samararatne said.

This year’s theme ‘Augment Living’ focuses on amplifying the success of innovation and technology towards supporting human lifestyles and its ability to make a real and lasting contribution to development.

The conference will feature keynotes by Casie Lau and Amarit Charoenphan both eminent startup personalities in Asia. This year’s event will also comprise five interactive panel discussions featuring dialogues on how destructive technologies and affecting and supporting the quality of lifestyles of people in relation to leisure, economic growth and sustainable living.

The panel discussion highlights include, ‘Travel Tech: Travel Smart’ which will engage the audience to personalised, connected and sustainable travel with a focus on technologies related to the travel and leisure sector. Panellists from Airbnb, Tripadvisor and Yohobed will share experiences.

ICTA Chairman Prof. Rohan Samarajiva said this year’s theme focuses on how to do things better and in an effective way which goes hand-in-hand with ‘Assistive Technology’ to support those undergoing various impairments in life.

“One could understand what has been said in his or her own language using live transcribe. All what one needs is to have internet broadband to enable him to benefit from the technology,” Prof. Samarajiva said.

ICTA intends to go beyond Sri Lanka to make the event Asia’s largest premier startup conference soon.

“We have ambitions larger than Sri Lanka. We need to start thinking of going beyond the borders which many local companies have done,” Prof. Samarajiva said, adding that some startups have set up operations in India and Bangladesh.

The conference and innovation festival will feature knowledge speakers from Lendo, BoardPac, Lalamove and Microimage who would touch on ways technology enhances lifestyles through greater convenience, supporting businesses and thereby generating economic growth.

‘Shaping Cities Through Innovation’ will focus on ways of using technology effectively to improve the quality of life in a sustainable manner with panellists from Cityzone Tel Aviv, Dialog and Visa addressing the audience.

Disrupt Asia 2019 startup battle grand finale will showcase innovation and entrepreneurship among startups with winners receiving industry exposure, cash prizes and mentoring support from local and international experts.

The ‘Disrupt Asia 2019 conference and innovation festival will be held during the ‘ICT and Innovation Week’ from October 7-14 at the Nelum Pokuna theatre Colombo.