Sri Lanka’s first cloud-based Smart Classroom was inaugurated at the Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte Maha Vidyalaya on Friday, with the Ministry of Education hopeful that the internet-based learning method could be expanded country-wide.
Seventeen students in a Year 7 classroom at the boy’s school in Kotte will participate in the pilot project. Lessons are conducted in the English medium and the students will use tablet computers instead of textbooks for interactive learning. The individual tabs will mirror lessons from a large screen computer that replaces the blackboard as a teaching guide.
School Principal D.A.G. Wanaguru said the project would create a revolution in the classroom.
“These are investments for the future, the benefits of these projects will only be visible many years down the line,” he added.
“We can’t be looking backwards. We have to win the future,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, who led the project that was supported by software solutions company CodeGen.
The Deputy Foreign Minister said that education providers needed to look beyond the supply of desks and chairs and try to think futuristically. “The students of today leave school in 2034, so that is how far forward we have to look,” he explained during the launch.
Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, who was the Chief Guest at the launch, said he hoped the pilot project could be expanded to schools across the island.
Sri Jayewardenepura Maha Vidyalaya is 185 years old and was first known as the Verandah School when the premises still belonged to the Church Missionaries Organisation. The first eight students of the school were boys who took lessons from Christian missionaries in the porch of the vicarage. The school premises still has one building that is an archaeological monument.
According to a brief historical video about the school played during the launch, Thotagama Rahula wrote his famous Selalihini Sandeshaya in the premises, while legendary singer Sunil Shantha was an old boy of the college. (DB)