29 Aug 2011

Telecentres for Innovating Youth Education for 21st Century

The mixed experiences of last 5 Years of engagement of rural education development through Nenasala telecentres has thought me that success of ICT4D depends on dedicated and committed people more than resources or market opportunities. The development of education brings impact directly in the lives of people as evident from Lahugala Nenasala Telecentre located in South east part of Sri Lanka which helped changing the shape of education in their village through Shilpa Sayura.

They wrote to me,

This poem means that

"Shilpa Sayura is the rain came on a dry land faced with the draught"

these words gives us an insights of value we can create through ICT in their lives.
Last decade we had been using ICT as a tool in education, now we find that ICT as a foundation which can be used to build future perspectives that removes disparities to access to national education. It’s clear that every nation in the world will continue to compete in a global economy that demands innovation. In this race where ever in the world poor people are like one nation without access to education.

In an era people are talking of radical re-generation of education, the context of delivery is as important as content. Hence we see Telecentres has a great potential to play a major role in 21st Century national education delivery by thinking beyond informal role played in development. This is demonstrated by Telecentres who changed the shape of the education in their villages using Shilpa Sayura, and become sustainable as a result even without connectivity.

People often say that future can't be predicted as it has more parameters than any scientific equation. Yet we have known that experienced human minds can process complex equations to develop novel ideas for the future. Shilpa Sayura as an ICT4D initiative explored formal education delivery through Telecentres and seems to have found a solution to develop rural education for 21st Century and also for sustaining of telecentres engaging them in mainstream national education development process.

Niranjan Meegammana
Shilpa Sayura Foundation

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