The need for qualitative education in any forward-thinking society cannot be overemphasized. In addition to being the foundation for success, happiness, and health, education is a prerequisite for growth and empowerment of all segments of the society. Education is a fundamental right, and every person deserves to be educated to secure a future for himself and his family. What began as an elite privilege has given way to the current system, where formal education is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. At present, several countries around the world, including Sri Lanka, provide free primary, secondary, and sometimes, even tertiary education.
The Sri Lanka educational system is structured into five parts – primary, junior secondary, senior secondary, collegiate and tertiary. Children from ages five to thirteen are obligated to schooling. Education in Sri Lanka is state-funded and offered free of charge at all levels, including the university level. At the moment, Sri Lanka has more than ten thousand government schools, with each labelled as either a national school, provincial school or Buddhist seminaries. Non-governmental or private schools follow the national educational curriculum, while international schools adhere to the British curriculum. Like the rest of the developing countries, there has not been a significant change in the foundational education system in most Sri Lanka schools since colonial times.
The periodic education reforms that Sri Lanka as witnessed over 1947 to 2006 were able to achieve, at best, a relative parity with international educational standards. The country does not rank well regarding harnessing technology and utilizing the same for educational purposes. Sri Lanka schools have no access to computer facilities and the internet. While several countries in the developed world have already put in place technology-inclined digitization of education since the 1980s, the teaching and learning approaches currently in use in Sri Lanka remains firmly orthodox. Perhaps, this has been the major responsibility for the poor reception of the English language in and outside learning environments throughout the nation.
In Sri Lanka, every child learns English from Grade 3 till Grade 13. In spite of this, the average child leaves school without being able to speak English. The medium of instruction in the public schools is largely devoid of English, with Sinhala and Tamil being used more frequently. Only 0.4% of the schools have the required facilities to use all the three media of instruction effectively. All these statistics point out the status of the Sri Lanka society’s poor English education system. While digital devices like tablets, computers, and projectors are widely used in enhancing education in some countries to suit the learning preference of each student, Sri Lanka has a scarce or no supply of such devices. For national and non-governmental schools that managed to get such facilities, they suffer from lack of IT-literate instructors.
Having accessed and understood the Sri Lanka situation, we at Distance Teaching and Mobile Learning (DTML.org) decided to extend our goal of developing free advanced educational technologies to benefit students around the world to Sri Lanka. DTML, as a not-for-profit organization, is committed to providing opportunities for kids worldwide to build a foundation for their future by engaging in free educational activities powered by state of the art e-Learning technologies. In pursuance of this, we reached out to a school – Ibulahena Primary College, Sri Lanka, and offered to team up with them to make English learning and teaching easier. Through our AI-powered online games targeted at grades one to six and which focuses on Basic English and Math skills, we aim to improve the overall reception of students towards these subjects. The games are designed to be sequential, such that securing mastery in one allows the student to progress to the next game. The skills/words that are missed in a game are repeated in subsequent games to ensure accuracy. In addition to knowledge, these games are fun, interactive and offer the enjoyment that comes with any educational experience.
The Ibulahena Primary College will not be the last to take advantage of these packages, as DTML looks to extend the offer to other schools in and outside Sri Lanka. Hence, we need your help to continue to give students the opportunity to have a much-improved experience with English education through our AI-powered online games.
Kindly visit our donors page to learn more about how you can help support DTML today!