Telecommunication and IT Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says that 25, 000 Government employees will be given IT training in the near future.
Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said so while participating at the Consultative Workshop for Formulating the Five-Year National ICT Plan held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo recently (Tuesday).
During his address to the workshop the Minister emphasised that Government employees in various sections would be given IT training and that this would make the public service more people-friendly. Speaking further on the occasion the Minister said that the draft national five-year ICT plan enriched by the inputs provided by the participants would be submitted to the cabinet for approval. Once approved, the plan would be implemented speedily, the Minister said. The Minister emphasised that making Sri Lanka the knowledge hub and wonder of Asia was the main thrust of the plan. However increasing the ICT literacy of the people and thereby making them have a more fruitful lifestyle were pivotal in the plan, Minister explained. Participating in the occasion Secretary to the Ministry of Telecommunication and IT, Nimal Atukorale stated that the inputs of the participants were very valuable. The participants comprising top representatives of Public and Private sector ICT-related institutions including ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Chairman Prof. P.W. Epasinghe came up with several valuable suggestions.
Making a presentation of the draft five-year National ICT plan, ICTA Chief Executive Officer Reshan Dewapura explained the perspective of the plan: “The national ICT Development Plan is formulated as one of the main strategies for making Sri Lanka the ‘wonder of Asia’, as per the ultimate vision of “Mahinda Chintana – Vision for the future”. Dewapura summed up the total long term economic expectations incorporated in the plan as : “Creating a US $ 1 billion ICT industry, along with 100,000 new employment in the ICT and BPO related sectors and achieving 75 % ICT literacy by 2016”.
The participants considered the draft plan under four categories such as IT-BPO, Education, Public Service and Media. Emphasis was made on the desirability of beginning ICT school education as early as grade 6 while not making it ‘as hard as the pure sciences’. Proper co-ordination of already existing facilities enabling, for example, lectures delivered in Colombo to be accessed by Universities in locations like Anuradhapura was a dire need of the hour, a lecturer commented. Many such valuable inputs were submitted and Secretary to the Ministry of Telecommunication and IT, Nimal Atukorale said that the participants would be further contacted in formulating the final draft of the plan.