Following sri lanka’s government requests, several media organisation have started online, electronic media and distant education programmes for students, who are engaging in a long vacation following the Coronavirus outbreak to continue their studies.

At a recent meeting Education Minister requested from media to assist the education activities of students by telecasting and broadcasting educational programmes. Sri Lanka Rupavahini SLRC launched two educational channels (Channel Eye and Nethra Tv). The Education Ministry will guide and monitor the programme.

Following the Coronavirus outbreak, which has become a threat to the entire world, the entire student community from kindergarten to university is at home as no education institute is functioning.

Several private universities already started online classes for their students.

Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) has taken an initiative to minimize interruptions to academic engagements and student life in general, of its university students. SLTC has made arrangements to conduct all its academic activities on virtual platforms and request the students to stay away from the university premises until further notice. The online activities will include the delivery of lectures and tutorials as per original schedule, practicals on stimulated platforms, submission of assignments , continuous assessments, and other academic support activities scheduled on the academic calendar.

The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) opened the doors for all their students from all five faculties of the university, to attend a virtual campus on the 18th of March this year, creating a milestone in the history of higher education in Sri Lanka. SLIIT has joined top universities of the world in moving to online delivery of their lectures. Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Rochester and the State University of New York are some institutions that have already moved their campuses to the web.

The Education Ministry urges students to continue their studies by logging on to “e-thaksalawa”, the educational website of the Education Ministry during the school vacation. Students can utilise the time by continuing their studies with the assistance of e-thaksalawa by logging on to www.e-thaksalawa.moe.gov.lk website. Lessons from Grade one to thirteen are available in all three languages within the website.

According to the Minister, lessons, exercises, examination papers and activities are available for Grade One to Five. Besides, lessons, exercises and examination papers are available for secondary students while lessons, exercises and past and model papers relating to many subjects are available for the Advanced Level students. Several other online teaching and learning programmes are also available from various companies who have stated the children can access the programmes free of charge, while telecom companies have no announced zero data charges for such access. The authorities hope to expand these e-learning programmes in the future.

According to a news article published on dailymirror based on a study, it has found that digital consumers have rised during this outbreak.  43% consumers have engaged in a new digital activity for the first time in this period. Emerging opportunities are expected in online education, entertainment, online shopping, health services and bill payments space.

The same article says that TV viewership has increased by 56% during the COVID-19 lockdown period. In terms of the time spent, it has increased from an average of 130 minutes to over 200 minutes a day.

“Education and its challenges in the face of Covid-19.”

Though experts suggest an online education, practical problems and difficulties are arising from the online education. 

As the global pandemic crisis intensifies, Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, remains committed to keeping Sri Lanka connected during these challenging times. Dialog is fully prepared and dedicated to maintaining business continuity of its telecommunication infrastructure and digital services for all its stakeholders, be it consumers, enterprises, business partners, or the Government.

With the prevailing situation turning online conveniences into daily necessities, Dialog has gone the extra mile to help Sri Lankans follow through with their social distancing efforts. In addition to keeping its customers connected during these turbulent times, Dialog has extended its support with the following special services for all Dialog Customers.

e-Learning – Free Content with No Data Charges on Guru.lk and Government Education Platforms.

In its efforts to minimise the disruption to the education system due to the early closure of schools, Dialog in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Headstart Pvt Ltd deployed a suite of free educational content and applications without any data charges for our children to continue learning from home. Dialog together with its partners have extended free content and online access to the following educational and content platforms:

1. Guru.lk

2. e-thaksalawa

3. Nenasa App – available on the Google Play Store

4. Dialog ViU App – available on the Google Play store and App Store

In addition to the above platforms, Dialog in partnership with the University Grants Commission and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka are set to provide free access with no Data charges to all official e-Learning platforms of State Universities effective 23 March 2020.

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