Dialog Axiata PLC Group Chief Executive Supun Weerasinghe handing over the winner’s trophy to Parameswaran Praveenan and Tharsika Parameswaran representing Jaffna College
From left: 2nd Runners-up SWRD Bandaranaike College, Panduwasnuwara, led by Kalana Manupriya, Winners Parameswaran Praveenan and Tharsika Parameswaran representing Jaffna College, and 1st Runners-up Gamini Dissanayake National School, Kotmale, led by Shehan Wijethungna
Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, held the grand finale of the ‘Dialog App Challenge’ powered by IdeaMart and Dialog Home Broadband on 3 April. Sri Lanka’s first inter-school app challenge saw Parameswaran Praveenan and Tharsika Parameswaran of Jaffna College being crowned champions and winning prizes worth Rs. 300,000. Held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, this all-island initiative aimed to educate and ignite a passion for software development amongst ordinary and advanced level students and create possible career paths at an informative age.
The Dialog App Challenge, which required teams to develop technology-based solutions to solve pressing issues in their respective communities, lead with awareness sessions for teachers, directors and co-ordinators in education zones in eight provinces across the country, along with student workshops conducted at provincial levels to educate students on product development and the competition. Over 200 teams and contestants successfully registered with 11 teams representing the provinces were shortlisted to compete in the grand finale. To supplement the initiative, a product development program was kicked-off to support teams with development and execution of their product.
Ministry of Education Director (ICT) P. N. Ilapperuma said: “It is becoming increasingly important to prepare the country’s future generations with the knowledge and ability to solve real-world problems with the use of innovation and latest technology. The Dialog App Challenge provides a great platform for the future of Sri Lanka and we are proud to support this initiative.”
Dialog Axiata IdeaMart MIFE Business and IOT Head Viranga Seneviratne said: “The Dialog App Challenge was incepted with the goal of discovering talent amongst Sri Lankan youth and providing them with a platform to explore opportunities, gain mentorship and excel in areas of technology. As one of Sri Lanka’s leading drivers of digital transformation, it is essential that we nurture future generations and equip them with the knowledge and skillset to propel the country to greater heights in the digital age.”
Dialog Broadband Networks Broadband and Fixed Telecommunications Head Navin Pieris said: “Dialog Home Broadband is proud to power the Dialog App Challenge, that aims to recognise and empower Sri Lankan youth, further supplementing our range of initiatives that work to provide both students and educators with the resources necessary to thrive in digital spaces.”
Teams were evaluated based on parameters such as their problem statement, the proposed solution, user-friendliness, effective use of technology, product completeness and presentation skills. While the champions received prizes worth Rs. 300,000, the first runners-up received prizes worth Rs. 150,000 and the second runners-up were given prizes worth Rs. 75,000. In addition to these titles, contestants were also eligible to win prizes for Most Impactful Idea, Best Idea with IoT Integration, Best IdeaMart technology Usage, Best Girls Team and more.