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April 25, 2006

Community Development through New Technology: Distance e-Learning Centers Declared Open


On 29th March, President Mahinda Rajapakse ceremonially declared open the Distance e-Learning (DeL) centers that were set up at the Sarvodaya District Centers in Mahanuwara and Hambantota. The centers were opened at the auspicious time of 4.30 in the afternoon by the president who connected online with the centers from his official residence, Temple Trees, in Colombo. The Governor of the Central Province also participated in the ceremony.

Distance e-Learning (DeL) center

To kick off the activities of the centers, the distant audio-visual equipment was utilized to connect the two centers and conduct lectures on agriculture and legal studies. The lecture on agriculture was delivered by Dr. Rohan Wijekoon, Deputy Director, Audio Visual Division of the Agriculture Department to a group of individuals at the Mahanuwara DeL center while it was watched online by a group of farmers who came to the Hambantota center. Meanwhile, Sunil R. De Silva, Attorney at low, conducted a legal studies lecture to a group of people at the Hambantota DeL center and this was relayed live to those at the Mahanuwara center.

A number of programs were conducted at the Hambantota center to educate the community on the services and facilities provided by the center. A foundational instruction session on distance e-learning tools and present usage of Information Technology was conducted with the participation of 120 youth and school children from nineteen villages around Hambantota. These programs were organized by the Hambantota Sarvodaya District Center Coordinator, Mr. Bandula Rajamanthri.

People of Hambantota listen to Sunil R. De Silva, Attorney at low, lecture on legal studies
People of Hambantota listen to Dr.Rohan of The Audio Visual Section of the Agriculture Department, lecture on agriculture.

Each of these DeL centers is equipped with a multimedia laboratory which includes thirteen computers that have all the latest IT tools and a 41” screen that can play VCDs and DVDs. Each center also houses a playback room as well as a fully-equipped conference room that can seat up to twenty people and provides facilities for either distance-learning or conferences. Both centers are linked to the internet by 512kbps satellite connections.

The main goal of these centers is to provide global knowledge to rural people and create sustainable educational, agricultural, religious, cultural, legal, and political development among them. This will be done through the introduction of new technology and new educational tools.

The Sarvodaya Movement has already put in place plans to conduct various IT programs on basic community information needs as well as events focused on the business community with the coordination of the centers at Mahanuwara and Hambantota. Further, business plans were developed before the opening of the two centers to ensure that both locations are self-financed from the very first day. The ICTA provided the basic financial resources for the project and the centers will be run in coordination with the government agency.

The two centers aim to provide the following services and programs:

  • Various courses that cater to both adults and children, employed and unemployed, housewives, merchants and businesspeople, farmers, etc. that will provide training in basic computer skills to Diploma computer courses to programs that teach skills necessary for employment
  • Communication facilities such as telephones and fax machines
  • Services such as typing and printing documents, photocopying, CD-burning, scanning, laminating, and binding
  • Email and internet facilities, fun activities, creation of 3D diagrams
  • Information such as job banks
  • Video-conferencing and access to online examinations
  • e-learning
  • e-channeling
  • e-commerce
  • e-government

For the more information and service for your requirement please feel free to contact Distance –e-learning Centre (Hambantota & Kandy)

Distance e-Learning Centre – Hambantota
Sarvodaya District Centre
Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement
200 Tangalle Road
Sri Lanka
TeL: +94-47-2220329
Email: [email protected]

Distance e-Learning Centre – Kandy
Sarvodaya District Centre
Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement
1 Trincomalee Road
Lady Gordon
Sri Lanka
Tel: +94-81-2234347
Email: [email protected]

Sarvodaya Headquarters :

Information Technology Programme
Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Headquarters
“Damsak Mandira”
98, Rawatawatte Road,
Rawatawatta Road
Sri Lanka
Tel: +94-11-2655255, ext 242 / +94-11-5550375
Fax: +94-11-5550375
Email : [email protected]

Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement for the People in Need.