Sri Lanka Telecom signed an agreement with the Secondary Education Modernisation Project (SEMP), an ADB funded project of the Ministry of Education to provide broadband internet access to schools islandwide.
The agreement was signed between CEO SLT Shuhei Anan, and Director SEMP/Ministry of Education Anura Dissanayake.
The present computer literacy rate is around 10 percent and President Mahinda Rajapakse has wowed to make it 60 percent by the end of three years.
Anan said that since education is of extreme importance to the country`s next generation, SLTs partnership would bring the necessary facilities to improve and enhance the methods of learning and teaching further.
He said that SLT would act as a telecommunications backbone providing high-speed access to data, video, and voice communications in schools and libraries that are working in collaboration with SEMP.
The first goal of the project is to upgrade the quality of mathematics and science subjects for students studying towards their O/Levels. The second goal is to provide internet connections for principals and teachers in these schools to access teacher training and course materials.
The Ministry of Education is to set up a National Operations Centre (NOC) at the Moratuwa University to control and monitor the activities of schools islandwide. Each of the 1100 will get a minimum of 128 kbps internet access over SLT IP VPN and the NOC located at the Moratuwa University will be connected with STM-1 (155 mbps) for higher speed internet connectivity.
Students can access online the subjects relevant to the school syllabus which will be hosted at the NOC e-library.
SLT hopes to expand the CDMA network islandwide by the end of this year and provide Wimax, which is an emerging technology using radio frequencies to give broadband wireless access to the customers.
SEMP hopes to increase the number of schools to 5,000, which is 60 percent of the student population. SLTs` commitment will be a direct cost saving to the Ministry of Education and further enhance the capabilities of the students, teachers and principals.