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Microsoft GamataIT to reach 1000 rural schools

Joins hands with Tharunayata Hetak movement

Microsoft GamataIT to reach 1000 rural schools

Hon. Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardhana addressing the gathering.

Microsoft GamataIT to reach 1000 rural schools

Standing from Left: Mr. Channa de Silva - Public Sector Director, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Mr. Sriyan De Silva Wijeyeratne - Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Education Minister, Hon. Bandula Gunawardhana, MP Namal Rajapaksa – President, Tharunyata Hetak Movement, Mr. Zhang Sen – Vice President, Huawei, Mr. Austin Wang- CEO, Huawei Technologies.

Continuing in their quest of taking ICT across the island and changing the lives of rural communities, Microsoft Sri Lanka’s Gamata IT Programme will begin empowering 1000 schools with MultiPoint Labs. These fully equipped MultiPoint labs will enable a classroom of 30 or more students to access a single computer with multiple mice with the relevant IT technology training from a young age. These programmes will be conducted under the aegis of MP Namal Rajapaksa along with the Tharunayata Hetak movement, and the Ministry of Education, coupled with ICTA, and Singer Sri Lanka, who are the other partners of Gamata IT.

MP Namal Rajapaksa addressing the media conference said, “The work that has been done by Microsoft Sri Lanka is worthy of the future generations of our country. We are thankful to Microsoft for joining with the Tharunayata Hetak movement to bring ICT closer to our brothers and sisters across the country. We know that it will assist them in their jobs and help mould future leaders of our nation. We look forward to joining with you to go from village to village, city to city to educate more youth.”

Speaking at the event, Hon. Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardhana said, “It is such an important event to see this programme being implemented across 1000 schools. Children need IT skills and knowledge to gain a foothold in the race for employability and this is a perfect opportunity for them. This is also a good example of how huge corporations can give back to the communities they live and work with.”

Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft said, “We are happy to see the inauguration of this programme as this has been a promise we wanted to fulfill during this significant seventh year milestone for Microsoft in Sri Lanka. We hope the GamataIT programme will encourage the future generation to become confident in using IT as they grow older. We are certain that our efforts to spread ICT knowledge and increase access to technology in rural communities are a major contribution to the development of the country. Not only are we using cutting edge Technology but both Microsoft Office and Windows 7 are available with Sinhala and Tamil interfaces, which make a big difference in rural computing. We are indebted to the Tharunyata Hetak movement and Hon. Namal Rajapakse for seeing value in our Gamata IT initiative and joining hands with us. The Ministry of Education and Microsoft have a long, solid partnership, and this step is yet another great extension of the work we have jointly undertaken. We also thank ICTA and Singer for working so closely with us from the inception of Gamata IT. ”

Commenting on ICTA’s affiliation in the Gamata IT initiative, Mr. Reshan Dewapura, Chief Executive Officer of ICTA Sri Lanka said, ‘ICTA is happy to be a part of this far-reaching programme which directly contribute towards increasing Sri Lanka’s IT literacy rate, which is one of the primary goals of the Government as well as ICTA in our quest to make Sri Lanka an ICT knowledge hub in the region.”

Mr. Asoka Pieris, Chief Executive Officer of Singer Group of Companies, who’s played an active role as a partner of the Gamata IT programme since its launch said, “We have been first hand witnesses of the truly remarkable difference Gamata IT makes on the lives of the people living in rural Sri Lanka. As a responsible corporate citizen Singer is proud to be a contributor and a strong partner in this programme that brings in a lot of value to our country.”

The activities of the Gamata IT programme are all about giving IT access to those in rural areas who have hitherto been untouched by the digital revolution. Capacity building, Local language computing, setting up local IT clubs, and Training, are some of the many other initiatives done through the different Gamata IT programmes. This is another step forward in the groundbreaking revolution that holds the promise of a noteworthy contribution to the dispersion of ICT knowledge and facilities to rural communities. These communities can now emerge from the most remote village and step into a future full of possibilities while becoming active participants of the Sri Lankan knowledge economy.