By Harsha Goonewardana
- Hounarable Bandula Gunawardana presents an award
Sarvodaya Fusion hosted the second Fusion Education Awards Ceremony – FEAC 2010, at Sarvodaya Vishva Samadhi Auditorium on 12 February 2010. Seven hundred award winners from different parts of the Sri Lanka joined leading public administration practitioners, business leaders and government leaders on this occasion.
Honorable Bandula Goonewardana, the Minister for Education opened the ceremony. He noted that the Fusion Education underscores the essential role of the public private partnership in preparing Sri Lanka for success in the global knowledge economy. He recognized that this role is especially important, given the challenge of providing sustainable ICT services to a majority of Sri Lankans living without reliable access to electricity and connectivity.
Honorable Minister invited to Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne and the Sarvodaya Fusion team to present their ideas to the parliament committee in developing ICT sector in Sri Lanka and in increasing ICT literacy in rural communities.
Other luminaries included, Mr. Madu Rathnayake, the chairman of Sarvodaya Fusion, Mr.Saman Algoda, Executive Director of Sarvodaya, Shramadana Sangyamaya, Mr. Wellington Perera, Director of Microsoft Sri Lanka, Mr. Nilantha Bastian, a Head of Marketing at HSBC, Dr. Sanath Jayasena, University of Moratuwa, Mr. Yasas Abeywickrama, CEO of Lanka BPO Academy, Mr.Gihan Fernando, Managing Director of Gamos, and Ms. W. A. W. Chandrani, Deputy Director of Standards & Accreditation at TVEC.
The Fusion team encouraged the graduates to explore opportunities in the burgeoning Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. Working in the BPO sector provides many benefits for rural graduates including high salaries, international experience, and professional development.
Fusion Education was launched by Sarvodaya Fusion to provide standardized Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training through telecentres based in rural communities. Previously, the quality of courses offered varied from telecentre to telecentre so the recognition and usefulness of these qualifications were mixed in the wider employment market. To provide a industry recognized qualification with consistent quality, Diploma In Computer Application (DICA) certification was created in association with a resource pool from University of Moratuwa. By encouraging telecentres to innovate their local education delivery methods with the DICA framework, Fusion aims to encourage social entrepreneurship at the grass-root level.
Since the launch of DICA in 2009, the number of diplomas awarded has increased fourfold to 600 by 2010 providing testimony to the increasing reach and recognition of the qualification. At present, Fusion directly works with over 70 telecentres in 17 districts to provide ICT training to rural communities. Parallel corporate partnerships with the likes of Microsoft and HSBC are assisting Sarvodaya Fusion with expanding ICT education into North and East provinces.