1. 1Introduction The spread of globalization entailed the emergence of the new type of society- information society, where knowledge or information has replaced the capital as the main driving force of economic growth. This, naturally, impacts everyday economic and social processes and structures. Knowledge-based economy relies on innovation and scientific research, which could not take place without highly qualified and sufficiently educated human resources. One of the main problems related with the development of the information society is the emergence of the digital divide.
The digital divide refers to the gap in society between those individuals, households and enterprises who use the information technologies and those who do not. This results in the divide between the individuals who have access to information and those who do not. As information is becoming more indispensable, the gap is becoming even wider between those who use the IT and those who do not, and results in limited opportunities of the latter. As to Sri Lanka, it is important to analyze and compare the situation in the wider context of other countries as well as the situation within the country alone.
Computer literacy is one of the key elements of the information society and one of the most important factors in reducing the digital divide. 1. 2Background An island nation in South Asia, Sri Lanka has a literacy rate of over 90%, which is one of the highest in the region. However, the digital literacy of the country fell far behind, at less than 20% in 2009, according to its Department of Census and Statistics. Therefore, it was imperative for the Government of Sri Lanka to find a quick but affordable solution to introduce basic digital literacy skills to state employees as well as to its citizens.
Since the initiation of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the low rate of computer literacy in Sri Lanka has been a matter of major concern. With a mere 3% of rural households owning a computer, access to a computer and information is certainly a challenge for the predominantly rural population (70%). The highest computer awareness of 32% was reported from the Colombo district. The next higher percentages (18% – 29%) were reported from a belt of districts consisted of Matara, Galle, Kalutara, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Matale, and Ampara districts.
Lowest percentages (4. 7% – 7. 7%) were reported from Mannar, Baticaloa, Nuwara Eliya and Monaragala districts. 1. 3SCOPE Is aimed at increasing Sri Lanka’s current low IT literacy, by enabling access to Information Communication Technology (ICT). This programme fosters the charter to ‘bridge the digital divide”. With the first stage of the project has planned to implement it to the region of the Uva. Because of The Badulla and Monaragala districts ware reported the lowest computer literacy rate of 3 percent.
The project takes place in all 02 Districts throughout the Uva province of Sri Lanka in order to train more residents in small rural settlements. The education will take place in computer classes that will be leased out from secondary schools, vocational schools, and other educational institutions and provide adequate facilities as required by the project. In rural settlements, the education will take place in public internet Centers. 1. 4OBJECTIVES Followings will be the main objectives of this project to achieve when it comes to end. ?Knowledge of a personal computer system?
Navigate within the Windows environment ?Operate a word processor ?Creating and Managing Files ?Sending & receiving emails ?Install software ?Download Acrobat Reader ?Download Google Talk ?Download Open Office ?Download Skype ?Connect to and surf the internet ?Printing ?Using Windows Live ? 2. CHAPTER TWO – PROPOSED SYSTEM 2. 1General definition Although the computers, Internet and e-mail have been around in households, work places, schools and universities in the country, no studies have been done on the level of usage of these facilities.
Therefore, findings of this study can be used as baseline data for measuring e-readiness and by repeating this study at regular intervals preferably annually, impact of various interventions that had been implemented to take the country to the digital age can be evaluated and if necessary, corrective actions can be taken. It is hoped that the information compiled using data collected in this survey can bring about improvements in how these facilities should be introduced and used. Under the project, it is going to be implemented in four stages which are can easily introduce among the peoples.
As we identified the main problem behind the situation, the fear to companion with new technology should be wacked out from their mentality. 2. 2First Stage – Introduce the importance of E-Literacy Much of the research work on information literacy has concentrated on skills and education for students or learners, however, a crucial area must be the information literacy levels of staff that are responsible for the development and implementation of e-learning. The technical expertise, knowledge and its services are not reached to the rural people.
The reaching of IT wisdom is far dream of rural children or Adolescent Girls and Youth and particularly to illiterate men and women. Hence, the government is committed for to provide Computer Literacy and Information Literacy. Both skills are necessary to cultivate in emerging knowledge societies.
In this context and in the process of Research & Development for an innovative project to provide the latest Information & Communication Technology (ICT) as well as to extend Innovative Sustainable project at their door step and to Reduce the Cost, Time and Energy for overall empowerment & Development of Children, Youth & Women is the idea of this project. 2. 2. 1Objectives: ?
To educate children in the e-literacy through schools to children. Three days in a week 02 hours per day from 1000-1200hrs. ?To give training to children above in the age of 18 years in computer typing, MSWord, Paint, MS-Excel, Power Point, Internet knowledge through the Vocational Training Centers. Every week days in week, 02 hrs per day from 1000-1200hrs.
?To provide e-literacy programme for youth and adolescent girls in MS office package. ?To provide teachers training for Inter / graduates in e-literacy classes. ?To train youth in spoken English and special courses. ?To train women functionaries and about community members make them aware about ICT & e-schemes. In this stage of the project is going to provide the basic knowledge about the; ? personal computer system ?Navigate within the Windows environment ?Operate a word processor ?Creating and Managing Files. Other than that the students can get the introduction to the field and importance of the E-Literacy.
The total 18-hour e-literacy module on an auto-run CD explains to the users certain basics about how the computer is set up and designed. This includes basic tutorials on the history of computers, the various parts of a computer, and some basic interactive tasks. The training is not geared towards making users able to use computer applications, rather it is meant to give people an introduction to computers so that they can learn later. The method is going to be adopt to innovate the system is by using mobile Tele-centers, which is available with 5-10 PCs inside the vehicle.
In this method we can access to the identified places as soon as possible without wasting time and money. As well as the plan is included with the cover it up places which is reluctant to have more gathering in and around area like towns, public libraries, etc. 2. 2. 2Facilities Included: All of the mobile Tele-Centers are fully equipped with 5-10 computers and peripherals ranging from printers, fax machines, scanners, web cameras and copiers to provide ICT services in rural and semi-rural communities. Internet access is provided with high speed broad band connectivity, using satellite technology.
Two telephone lines with local and International dialing facility are also available at the centers that do not have fixed phone lines. Internet charges are kept to a minimum to allow people in the area to access internet at a lowest possible cost. Duration 01 Years 2. 3Second Stage – Upgrade the project through the Tele-Centers An essential step in the research process is implementing the access to basic environment which required enhancing the e-Literacy. Once it is found Information literacy is about peoples’ ability to operate effectively in an information society.
This involves critical thinking, an awareness of personal and professional ethics, information evaluation, conceptualizing information needs, organizing information, interacting with information professionals and making effective use of information in problem-solving, decision-making and research. In this stage of the project is going to be covering it up the advance knowledge about the Information & Communication Technology by using the Tele-Centers which are located in the specified places of the region. In both the districts according to the suggestion of the project there should have 35-40 nos of Tele-Centers to help the process.
Followings will be included for the period of the second stage. ?Sending & receiving emails ?Install software ?Download Acrobat Reader ?Download Google Talk ?Download Microsoft Office ?Download Skype 2. 3. 1Objectives ?To educate children in the advance knowledge about the Information & Communication Technology through Tele-Centers to children. Two days in a week 02 hours per day from 1400-1600hrs. ?To provide advance knowledge about the Information & Communication Technology for youth and adolescent girls. ?To provide teachers training for Inter / graduates.
?To train women functionaries and about community members make them aware about ICT & e-schemes. In the second stage of the project is planned to implement web accessed advance programmes which are related to e-mails and software installations. This stage totally depends with the internet access. With the consideration of the second stage the Tele-Centers must have to play a vital role to accomplish the aim of this project. There should be at least 20-25 PCs in a Tele-Center, other than there should be high bandwidth Internet access, printers, and Direct Telecom facilities.
According to the demography, schools available, the total area and the number of students available considering all the matters at least there should be 35-40 Tele-Centers to continue with the project for the second stage. With respect to accessing government information on the websites, awareness on the availability of such government websites should be widely publicized. So far people use the Internet to access the gazette, exam results, general information, etc. Efforts should be made to encourage the downloading of applications and other relevant information.
Government institutions should also publicize and encourage the public to use the information available on their respective websites. Duration 02 Years 2. 4Third Stage – Spread out the project with introducing the system using with their own PCs, Laptops, Palmtops, and Smart Phones. In the third stage as well as the last stage the peoples who are having their own accessibility they may allow to access to the internet and serf for the third stage. Though it is not able to do they are welcome to continue with the same method which they adopt during the second stage of the project.
During this stage the students may have that opportunity to access the internet fully, get the knowledge about the printing of documents and using of live windows. ?Connect to and surf the internet ?Printing ?Using Windows Live Here, each and every student will provide with a separate user name and password to access the internet and participate the basic learning activities in online basis. They may allow to download learning materials related to this project at any time with accessing the own user name and password. Duration 06 months 2. 5Project requirements I.
Preliminary data collection. Analyze & identifying potential villages / children, Youth and Women. II. Procurement of Training Building/ Premises on Hire. III. Procurement of infrastructure. Computers, furniture and electronic devices. LCD Projector and Internet connection and allied arrangements. IV. Procurement of Mobile Van to percolation of the center programmes and to create awareness by carrying K-YAN computer machine cum projector device. Imagine the audio visual medium perking up proceedings. It works like computer and uses a projector to beam lessons on the walls.
The cost of the equipment is around 1. 10 lakhs. It stores lessons prescribed by the state government in both English, and Sinhala, transforming a mundane science class into one where lessons are taught using visuals and animation. It facilitates the mass communication media in the villages & train the community people with simple arrangements as well as in government schools also. V. Appointment of Faculty / Course teaching teachers. VI. Appointment of Volunteers cum motivators. One for each 2 villages / areas. VII. Appointment of Core staff & Driver.
? 3. CHAPTER THREE – DELIVERABLE ?It will enable children, youth and literate SHG women learn basic computer training & community members will get awareness about the programmes at their door step of villages itself. ?It will provide access to Internet facility to all rural people irrespective of age and gender. ?It will provide access to different knowledge, skills, vocational training programmes and communication skills at their door step. ?It will provide access to e-learning, e-commerce and other information is available to youth.?
It will provide access to promote Information Management Center of village level, Encourage the documentation and Resource sharing of Indigenous knowledge information use and servicing among members. The center facilitate the needs assessment, Capacity building of the municipal level to Government and Nationally. ?It will provide access to e-Teacher Training porgrammes within the municipal level it saves their Time, Energy and Money and assured qualitative education as well they enable to procure local employment within their jurisdiction.
? 4. CHAPTER FOUR – SWOT ANALYSIS ? 5. CHAPTER FIVE – CONCLUTION In the paper, certain benefits of the project have been highlighted, which are hard to quantify in economic terms. While our data analysis shows results counter to the goals of mission, overall, on the issue of ‘continued use’ of Tele-centers by citizens, it is clear that even the slightly lower prices often offered by centers for computer training courses are highly valued even if respondents were not necessarily overly enthusiastic about enrolling for such classes.
The key recommendations here are that the content and delivery of e-literacy should be changed significantly. While the initial goal of removing the fear of computers is very successful, we must ask what next – people have to stay interested in the course for the entire 15 hours once they pay for it. After the completion of e-literacy, the typical users should be able to do at least some basic tasks on their own. On the issue of service delivery, this is identified by the data as main concern.
Clearly, creating and monitoring a project the size of it is a huge task and it is extremely difficult to monitor every aspect of the project. But a greater effort has to be made to ensure that the service delivery is either done through existing State agencies with experience in public spending projects, or through groups with good field credibility doing grassroots work. Finally, if it is agreed that e-literacy qualifies as a public good, the data from project presents strong evidence to uncouple it from Tele-centers.
Courtney from Study Moose
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