Dialog & Ministry of Education Continue to Facilitate Equitable Access to Education in Sri Lanka
August 17th, 2023 Colombo
(L to R): Selvadurai Pranavathasan, Director of Education - Distance Learning Promotion, Ministry of Education, Lalitha Egodawela, Additional Secretary - School Affairs, Ministry of Education, Hemantha Premathilaka, Additional Secretary - Educational Service Establishment & Educational Quality Development, Ministry of Education, Nihal Ranasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Education, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive, Dialog Axiata PLC, Asanga Priyadarshana, Group Chief of Risk and Compliance, Dialog Axiata PLC, and Asith De Silva, Senior Manager - Social Innovation, Dialog Axiata PLC
Furthering their shared mission of providing equitable access to education for all students across the country, Dialog Axiata PLC and the Ministry of Education revised their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the operations of the Nenasa initiative.
In line with the Ministry's vision for a digitally enabled education landscape in Sri Lanka, under the revised MOU, the integration of the eight Nenasa TV channels and the Nenasa Educational App with the Ministry's National Learning Content Management System [LCMS] e-Thaksalawa will create a comprehensive smart education ecosystem. This ecosystem will comprise TV channels, a web-based LCMS, and an Education App compatible with mainstream operating systems. Going a step further, Dialog has facilitated free access on its network for the native content hosted on Nenasa, e-Thaksalawa and the LEARN (Lanka Education and Research Network) online platforms. The Nenasa Smart School programme will play a vital role in empowering competent smart Digital Educators and fostering the development of quality educational content at both national and school levels. In addition, the MoU will further facilitate the VAAYU project, an IoT-based air quality monitoring initiative, with selected Nenasa Smart Schools serving as air quality monitoring hubs.
Speaking about the initiative, Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Education said, “Dialog and the Ministry of Education have revised the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the Nenasa initiative. This initiative encompasses eight Television Channels, specifically designed for students from grades 1 to 13. The updated MoU not only includes these channels but also establishes a comprehensive ecosystem consisting of educational apps as well as projects intended to foster the development of skilled digital educators. Moreover, the Ministry of Education has established a dedicated control centre to oversee this operation. It is important to highlight that Dialog offers all these services completely free of charge, with the aim of enhancing the local education landscape.”
Commenting, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC said, "Dialog is committed to providing equitable access to education for all students across Sri Lanka and this revised MOU with the Ministry of Education is a significant step towards this goal. The consolidation of these platforms will create a comprehensive smart education ecosystem, providing students with access to high-quality educational content, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status. We are proud to partner with the Ministry of Education to make this vision a reality."
Dialog has invested over Rs. 600 million in the Nenasa TV operation, demonstrating its commitment to inclusive and accessible education. Over 2,500 schools nationwide have received television sets, accompanied by a tailor-made satellite television package from Dialog Television, ensuring free access to the eight Nenasa TV channels. These channels offer educational and edutainment content aligned with the local syllabus and are available to over 1.7 million Dialog Television subscribers at no cost. Complementary projects including the Nenasa Smart School and the Nenasa Educational App were launched, focusing on upskilling digital educators and providing educational opportunities for underprivileged children.