Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 23 January 2011





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Government Gazette

Commercial Bank launches IT skills project with ‘Mother Sri Lanka’

Schoolchildren in many rural areas of Sri Lanka will have an opportunity to enhance their IT skills thanks to a new community initiative of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon and the Mother Sri Lanka Program of the Presidential Secretariat.

Under this program, Commercial Bank has announced plans to donate computers and related equipment to set up computer laboratories in several underprivileged schools.

The first set of beneficiary schools have been selected from the North Central, Uva and North Western provinces and a completed computer laboratory is to be handed over to the students of the first beneficiary of the project, the Kosgolla Maha Vidyalaya in Badulla district in January 2011, the Bank said.

Kosgolla Maha Vidyalaya won third place in the Mother Sri Lanka school dialogue competition in the Sinhala medium from the eight schools that participated. When the school presented its projects at the all-island final in Colombo in June 2010, Mother Sri Lanka realised that the school does not have a computer. Hence this school has been selected as the first school to launch the Mother Sri Lanka-Commercial Bank community project.

Another four schools in the Anuradhapura, Puttalam and Kurunegala districts have been identified by the project to receive computer labs. Other schools that need such assistance may make a request to the Mother Sri Lanka program.

“Enhancing the IT knowledge of school children is vital for their individual, as well as the country’s progress,” said Chairman of Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust Mahendra Amarasuriya. “IT skills will help everything children do in the future, from higher education to employment.”

“We recognised that although IT is a subject in the school syllabus, many schools in rural areas do not have the necessary equipment to teach the subject effectively. Therefore we decided to fund this project which we consider as an investment in the future of the children of Sri Lanka,” Amarasuriya added.

Mother Sri Lanka Chairperson Janaki Kuruppu said, “To be selected to receive the benefits of this program, the schools must be members of the Mother Sri Lanka movement. These schools and the students have already pledged their loyalty and patriotism to the country.”

“We do not believe in just giving as charity. Those who believe in Mother Sri Lanka should be able to think ‘Country first’. The Mother Sri Lanka schools have already participated in this program and shown their commitment and interest in this nation building program. The Mother Sri Lanka club in the school will look after this computer lab as its contribution to the effort,” she said.

When selecting schools to benefit under this scheme, consideration is given mainly to rural schools based on up to which grade they conduct classes, the number of students and the availability of teachers to handle the subject of IT.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon will fund the project while the selection of schools and coordination will be the responsibility of the Mother Sri Lanka program. Once a school is selected, the nearest branch of Commercial Bank will interact closely with the school to ensure proper utilisation of the equipment to benefit the students.

The Mother Sri Lanka Program was launched to promote activities for a positive change in Sri Lanka and receives leadership direction and support from the Office of the President. It conducts activities, programs and communication campaigns to build pride in being Sri Lankan and develop positive thinking about Sri Lanka.

It conducts grassroots activity that contributes towards nation building through the development of professional, physical and spiritual wellbeing of all Sri Lankans and also attracts international resources towards developing Sri Lanka. It is a not-for-profit charitable organisation.

The Commercial Bank contributes up to one percent of its post tax profits every year towards CSR activities.

In addition to assisting in upgrading English and IT education in rural schools, the Bank has been involved in many other CSR activities such as, granting scholarships to undergraduates, assisting children’s homes, donating equipment and essentials to several major hospitals and children’s wards, repairing the path-way to Sri Pada, donation of essential items for internally displaced in the North and construction of houses for IDPs with the assistance of the SL Army.



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