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IT revolution in Nivithigala


Microsoft Sri Lanka’s Gamata IT launched in Sabaragamuwa Province


Microsoft Sri Lanka Gamata IT


Caption:

IT Eager R/Yakdehiwatta Vidyalaya students.


Microsoft Sri Lanka Gamata IT


Caption:

Country Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka, Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne addressing the gathering at the launch of the Gamata IT programme.


Microsoft Sri Lanka Gamata IT


Caption:

Country Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka, Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne inaugurating the MultiPoint technology enabled classroom at the R/Yakdehiwatta Vidyalaya.


Launched in the national Year of English and Information Technology, Microsoft Sri Lanka’s groundbreaking “Gamata IT” initiative, a series of activities aimed at taking Information Technology to the most remote rural communities of Sri Lanka, is another step in the Company’s long term journey to making IT accessible to all Sri Lankans.


The inaugural Microsoft ‘Gamata IT’ town storming event, held in Nivithigala on the 11th of October 2009, commenced under the auspices of Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Minister Hon. Ramyakumara Weerasinghe, and other dignitaries representing the Ratnapura District, the Secondary Education Modernization Project II of the Ministry of Education, the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and Microsoft Sri Lanka.


The event, which had its operational epicenter at the Nivithigala Nenasala, featured the corner stone of the Gamata IT programme – the revolutionary Sinhala Language Interface Pack for Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista. Microsoft also donated genuine Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 software to the Nivithigala Nenasala Centre, exposing the users to a genuine software experience. The Gamata IT initiative also saw Microsoft Sri Lanka distributing free copies of the comprehensive Sinhala Glossary of IT Terms used in Windows Vista and Office 2007, along with Sinhala keyboard stickers to all the participants at the event held at Nivithigala Nenasala.


Mr. Sanjeewa Kumaratunga Manager of the Nivithigala Nenasala said, “I am thankful for Microsoft Sri Lanka for selecting Nivithigala for the inaugural Gamata IT initiative, running under the banner of “global knowledge to the village”. We promise to provide training classes and other ICT services as well act as a hub of local, national and global information resources whereby we become a catalyst for rural communities in poverty alleviation, social and economic development and peace building. Our aim is to provide these services in a long-term, sustainable manner”.


As part of the Gamata IT initiative Microsoft Sri Lanka was engaged in training and providing technical assistance to the residents of Nivithigala thus ensuring that they receive a strong foundation in basic Computing skills. Career guidance, hands on user exposure, and awareness creation sessions were also part of these training programmes. In addition the Sinhala translation of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential curricular was distributed free of charge to key stakeholder organizations. This will enable the youth in Nivithigala to enroll for a course on Computer Fundamentals at the Nenasala Centre, taught using the world recognized UP curricula in either English or Sinhala.


Speaking about the launch of the Gamata IT programme Country Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka, Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, said “The Gamata IT initiative is designed to take Information Technology to the most remote areas of the country and provide access and training to communities who may have had little or no access to IT. We are thankful to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology, ICTA, Singer Sri Lanka and all our partners who joined forces to make this far reaching vision a reality. My team looks forward to making an unforgettable and long-lasting footprint on rural Sri Lanka through these efforts. This is a new chapter for the future of Sri Lanka”.


Other activities carried out by Microsoft Sri Lanka under the Gamata IT banner included a training session conducted at the Nivithigala Provincial Council for over 60 government officials from the area, who were awarded certificates at the event. The donation of the revolutionary MultiPoint technology enabled classroom to the children of R/Yakdehiwatta Vidyalaya can be considered the most significant outcome of this ground breaking initiative. Microsoft Sri Lanka will be providing further teacher and student training to the R/Yakdehiwatta Vidyalaya.


Mr. U.A.G Hettiarachchi Principal of R/Yakdehiwatta Vidyalaya speaking at this momentous occasion said “Our school is blessed to experience this new technology, the installation of the MultiPoint system will immensely benefit our children, they will be able to practice curriculum through the click of a mouse; granting exposure to digital learning. Microsoft MultiPoint enables one computer to serve many students simultaneously. Using multiple computer mice that drive uniquely-designed on-screen cursors, Microsoft MultiPoint allows about 30 students to simultaneously use and learn from educational software on one computer. This creates an active, collaborative learning experience that engages each and every student”.


About Sinhala LIP


Microsoft Sri Lanka introduced the revolutionary Sinhala Language Interface Pack (LIP) for Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 as a key feature of the Gamata IT initiative and evidence of the Company’s commitment to making Information Technology accessible to the rural community of Sri Lanka.


Sinhala LIP provides a primarily localized user experience with menus, buttons and instructions in Sinhala, enabling speedy and convenient access to knowledge, skills and development. LIP users will enjoy Microsoft Office 2007’s Quick Access and Mini tool bars and the benefits of the Instant Search feature on Windows Vista, which instantly locates and launches any document, file or programme on the hard drive or web. Searching the Internet will also be much simpler with local language guidance. Thus, the advantages of the latest and best technology will be delivered to Sri Lanka’s rural communities via two of the world’s most popular and highest ranked software.


The software is available for download free of charge on the Microsoft Sri Lanka website: www.microsoft.com/srilanka.