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Sixth SLIIT CODEFEST 2017 grooms IT skills at a young age

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The Faculty of Computing at SLIIT, Sri Lanka’s leading degree awarding institute concluded CODEFEST 2017, a nationwide Software Competition held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education for the 6th consecutive year.  SLIIT’s aim is to raise the level of ICT knowledge to achieve the nation’s aspiration of being the knowledge hub in Asia by promoting software application design among school children and undergraduates.   

The Chief Guest at the event was Prof. Gihan Dias, Senior Lecturer, University of Moratuwa who stated in his keynote address: “SLIIT CODEFEST is a significant national event involving both university and school level students.  It is no mean feat to bring such an event to fruition, and to attract a diverse and fascinating group of students from various parts of the country. It is Sri Lanka’s goal to be the knowledge hub in South Asia.  In order to achieve this goal, we must first start at the school level and inculcate programming skills and encourage our young talent to bloom.”   

Participation in the competition provide students an opportunity to compete with peers across the country, showcasing their talents and innovations to the world. This year’s competition had contests on Coding, ICT Quiz, Internet of Things and Designathon for the school category while undergraduates competed under Overnight Hackathon, Netcom, Internet of Things, Capture the Flag and Designathon categories. Workshops were held prior to the competition to familiarize participants. 

The best three School teams under each category, selected by an independent panel of judges from the industry were announced at the prize giving.  The Coding Contest Winners were - Gold: Babul Hassen Central College, Warakapola; Silver: De Mazenod College, Kandana; Bronze: St. Joseph’s College, Anuradhapura. Designathon Junior Winners were – Gold: Bomiriya Central college; Silver: De Mazenod College; Bronze: Tholangamuwa Duddley Senanayake College. Internet of Things Winners were – Gold: S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia; Silver: Royal College, Colombo; Bronze: Giriulla Wickramashila National School. ICT Quiz Winners were – Gold: St. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia; Silver: Ananda College, Colombo; Bronze: Mahinda College, Galle.   The Gold award winners in the school coding and Hackathon categories received a cash prize of Rs. 100,000; the Silver award winners, Rs. 60, 000 and the Bronze award winners, Rs. 40,000.  The winners altogether received cash prizes worth Rs. 1,110,000.  There were over 50 winning teams from schools across the island while undergraduates from both state and non-state universities were among the winning teams with Sri Jayawardenepura University, University of Colombo and School of Computing emerging as top achievers.   SLIIT CEO and Vice Chancellor Professor Lalith Gamage congratulated the winners and said: “CODEFEST is an ideal platform to promote the application of skills learnt through ICT related modules taught in schools and universities.  Being receptive to the current needs of the country in the domain of Information Technology, SLIIT has been able to successfully collaborate with the Ministry of Education in hosting the event, emphasising the importance of this nation-wide software competition.  It also encompasses our CSR initiatives in disseminating IT knowledge across the island as a whole.”  

CODEFEST 2017 Coordinator Dr. Pradeep Abeygunawardhana commented: “With the genuine effort to discover talented sprouts dispersed all over the country, SLIIT extended their boundaries beyond tertiary education to the school education too.  CODEFEST, the nation’s largest software competition, with 200 schools and more than 200 university teams, was successfully held with the blessing and invaluable support of the Ministry of Education.” SLIIT Dean – Faculty of Computing Dr. Koliya Pulasinghe said: “SLIIT being a leading higher education partner in the region, our vision is to advance knowledge, foster and promote innovation to enrich lives and broaden horizons through creating a learning and research environment.”

SLIIT CODEFEST 2017 attracted 18 sponsors, all leaders in the IT industry including banks, hotels and educational institutions that appreciated the value of the competition to encourage and educate young people.  SLIIT is also planning to conduct a series of IT seminars with the collaboration of the Ministry of Education in order to uplift the awareness on information communication technologies among the students.

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