The Minister of Education Professor G.L. Peiris said that though the school education activities are done through online method due to covid pandemic situation, there are children who cannot obtain those facilities due to various reasons. Therefore the actions will be taken to establish “Regional Learning Centers” for them. The minister stated this while addressing a media discussion held on 21.06.2021 at the department of government information, Narahenpita.
Further expressing his ideas at this occasion, the minister said,
Because of the covid 19 pandemic situation the schools are not opened and at present the educational activities are carried out through distant / online method. The government has taken actions to provide educational facilities through different media such as Gurugedara, Ethaksalawa and the radio. The facilities have been provided to the teachers through Ethaksalawa to prepare a virtual classroom using a learning management system. Ethaksalawa contains 65,000 lessons and about two and half hundred thousand people enter into this site per day. Last month 3.5 million people have entered into it.
The Gurugedara program is operated in ‘Channel Eye’ of Rupavahini in Sinhala medium and in Nethra channel in Tamil medium. This program is active 16 hours per day in 05 days of the week and so far, nearly 5000 lessons have been recorded for grades from 03 to advanced level. Any fee is not charged for entering this Ethaksalawa. Internet and television programs above mentioned are created under the full standardization by the ‘Education Quality Development and National Institute Education’. Furthermore, a large number of programs are implemented through social media networks and printed media by provinces, divisions, schools and grades under the supervision of relevant subject directors. But the problem of entering to all these facilities has affected to 12% or more in the country.
Accordingly, the ministry of education has informed on 17th of this month all provincial directors of education to take actions for establishing the regional learning centers. The plans have been already designed collectively by the State Ministry of Education Reforms, Open Universities and the Promotion of Distance Education, the State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre-schools, Primary Education, School Infrastructure Facilities and Education Services and the State Ministry of Digital Technology and Investment Promotion to start small groups meeting centers at village level under the health guidelines.
According to that, the identification of those centers is being done at the moment. It is scheduled to keep these centers open from 7.00 in the morning till 3.00 pm. Each center must be equipped at least with 10 laptops and tab computers. These centers will be activated with the coordination about the functioning of these centers by the zonal level and monitoring and guidance by the provincial level, the minister said.