Regional centres to facilitate online learning
Designed to benefit students with tech difficulties
Signal coverage issues, lack of facilities to be addressed
By Buddhika Samaraweera
The Ministry of Education has planned to set up regional learning centres to enable students around Sri Lanka to pursue their education online, taking into account the various difficulties faced by them in learning remotely at present.
Commenting on this, Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris said the said centres would be open five days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. He also said that there would be computers, laptops, and at least 10 tablets in these centres.
“At a time when the online education system is in operation due to the closure of schools owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, some students do not have the required signal coverage and other facilities. Considering these issues, it was decided to set up these learning centres with the aim of facilitating such students to pursue their studies without any hindrance,” he added.
He further said this programme is to be implemented jointly by the Ministry of Education; the State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Preschools and Primary Education, School Infrastructure, and Education Services; the State Ministry of Education Reforms, Open Universities, and Distance Learning Promotion; and the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research, and Innovation.
Adding that necessary steps for the implementation of this programme have already been taken, and that the Education Ministry has discussed the necessary steps to be taken with all the provincial education directors and other regional officials, Prof. Peiris said these centres should be operated in accordance with Covid-19 health guidelines.
Meanwhile, he said that the E-Thaksalawa and Gurugedara websites were currently in operation to facilitate online education activities. Teachers and students can access the E-Thaksalawa through the Education Ministry’s website, free of charge, he said.
Speaking at a media briefing held yesterday (21), he further said: “All lessons from Grade One to Grade 13 have been prepared in Sinhala and Tamil and have been posted on the E-Thaksalawa website. It will also enable teachers to run virtual classrooms. At present, the E-Thaksalawa website contains about 65,000 lessons and is accessed by nearly 250,000 students and teachers daily.”