Sunday Observer Online


News Bar

News: Attempts to block aid, loans will not succeed ...           Finanacial News: Tourism Development Authority, a shot in the arm for industry ...          Sports: Two new records at School Games ...

DateLine Sunday, 30 September 2007





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Network to connect schools

You may know about SchoolNet, the new online educational system, which is a joint initiative of the Education Ministry and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT). This system is being introduced with the objectives of improving efficiency and increasing academic achievement within public schools across the country.

A school network in another country

SchoolNet, which is part of the Ministry's Secondary Education Modernisation Project, will revolutionise the way school administrators operate, the way teachers teach, the way parents are involved and the way children learn.

It will allow teachers and students from schools around the island including rural schools to access reference material, tutorials, emails and other educational programmes over the Internet. For the first time, teachers will also be able to access lesson plans on their computers.

The SLT system will connect all schools in the island as one network, and offer products such as voice, video, broadband Internet, network services and hosting services. The first phase of the project will see 1,100 schools being connected to the network, with 5000 schools to be connected by 2010.

The Network Operations Centre for the project will be located at the University of Moratuwa. The servers for web applications, databases, intranet and security will be installed at the NOC and will be maintained by a dedicated staff. The latest ICT technologies have been selected for the SchoolNet operations, foreseeing future requirements in the education sector.

Met. observation complexes for Polonnaruwa, Moneragala

About two weeks ago, we had a tsunami scare. Many countries in the Indian Ocean including Sri Lanka were in a state of uncertainty...'will we, won't we (have another tsunami)?'

The country was better prepared this time though, especially with the information about the earthquake and the possible tsunami spreading very fast. Now we are more alert, and equipped with better and quicker disaster warning systems. It's important that we are better prepared to face not just tsunamis, but all other natural disasters.

It's with this idea that Cabinet approval was recently granted to a memorandum on the construction of Meteorological Observation Complexes at Polonnaruwa and Moneragala, which currently lack such facilities.

Both areas are agriculturally important districts, which are however hampered by frequent droughts. Therefore, it has been felt that meteorological centres are long overdue needs in the two districts.

Armed with the most current information, it's presumed that the Meteorology Department can issue weather forecasts and warnings to people in these areas so that they are better prepared to meet drought and other disaster situations.

Mobile libraries for tsunami affected areas

Many libraries belonging to schools and local government bodies were damaged and destroyed by the tsunami of December 2004. This single disaster was responsible for wiping out entire collections of valuable library material from many parts of the island.

A mobile library

The Nena Sakmana programme was launched by the Asian Foundation in collaboration with the American International Group recently as a means of offsetting this loss to some extent.

The programme provides mobile libraries to the local government bodies affected by the tsunami. The first of the vehicles to be used for libraries were handed over to the Thirukkovil, Hikkaduwa and Hambantota Pradeshiya Sabhas recently.

These mobile libraries are valued at over eight million rupees and are equipped with multimedia projectors and laptop computers. They will be regularly monitored by the National Library Services Board and the Colombo Public Library.

The project has been launched with the objective of improving the reading habit and IT literacy among students in the area.

Fasting season for Muslims

Palestinians celebrating the fasting season. Pic: AFP

Ramazan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, started on September 12. This is the most important month in the Islamic calendar and commences with the sighting of the new moon, even if it is reported by only one person. The period of fasting will end with the Ramazan festival which falls close to October 13.

Ramazan comes yearly to remind Muslims of the declaration and establishment of human rights in the Quran, which started to be revealed in such a month, more than 14 centuries ago. During the month, Muslims offer prayers, read and listen to the Quran daily, and observe strict self-discipline through fasting. They give to the poor and have more contact with other Muslims.

Fasting has always been an important part of religious life, discipline and experience in almost every faith.

State Children's Art Festival

The State Children Art Festival - 2007, organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Arts and Sculpture Panel of the Arts Council of Sri Lanka, will be held at 10.00am tomorrow at the National Art Gallery, Colombo.

It will be ceremonially opened by Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane. Over 38,000 paintings done by children from all parts of the island were received by the organisers.

During the first round, 150 artworks were selected from each district and after a workshop conducted for their contributors, the best 230 paintings were selected to be presented with awards.

The awards ceremony will also be held tomorrow, at 10.30am, at the John de Silva Memorial Theatre, Colombo. The award-winning paintings will be displayed at an exhibition to be held from 9.00am to 6.00pm from October 1 to 3 at the National Art Gallery.

British volunteer teachers for local school

Sue Gregory and Sinead Watt of Project Abroad, England have been appointed as volunteer teachers to Tissa Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Kalutara for this year.

The volunteer teachers with some of the students

The British organisation has been providing volunteer English teachers to this school from 2003 with the objective of improving the English knowledge of these students.

The programme has been ably supported by Project Abroad's Sri Lankan Director, Shyamali Wijesinghe, Project Co-ordination Officer, G.G. Perera, Ligaya Kaluarachchi and British Co-ordinator, Catherine Stidston.

The project was initiated under the advice of Tissa Vidyalaya Principal, Wilfred Weerasinghe and Deputy Chairman of the Past Pupils Association, Janaka Mendis.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service

| News | Editorial | Financial | Features | Political | Security | Spectrum | Impact | Sports | World | Magazine | Junior | Letters | Obituaries |


Produced by Lake House Copyright 2007 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor