The CSE IT Awareness program by the Computer Science & Engineering Department of University of Moratuwa went quite successful, with 11 seminars all over the island in Tamil and Sinhala media. Final year undergraduates of the department along with a staff member visited the destinations and carried out the seminars. The seminars held at the 11 schools went quite well. I joined the team which went to the Jaffna peninsula, where we conducted the seminars in Tamil medium in 6 schools - Putthur Somaskandha College, Kopay Christian College, Kokuvil Hindu College, St. Charles M.V, Urumpurai Siva Tamil M.V, and Chullipuram Victoria College. I did my talk on இணையம் (The Internet). A handout was also distributed among the participants as a supportive learning material.
It was really nice to see the students showing a great interest in learning new technologies. It is our responsibility to make the country an IT hub through similar workshops and seminars. Information Communication Technology (ICT) is offered as an optional subject for Ordinary Level Students where they also have the option of doing Agriculture or some other subjects instead. What I could notice it, the number of students doing ICT is much lower than the students choosing other modules. The reasons may be the score - They may feel ICT as a difficult subject, or there may be some limitations due to the limited resources. Obviously not all the schools are ready to have ICT as a compulsory module. More resources are needed. It should also be noted that GIT is yet another module provided for the Advanced Level students.
A seminar of three hours can never cover all the necessary stuff as a basic course. But it can provide a flavor to the students and make them more interested towards learning computer science and IT. I am pretty sure we have reached this goal. The interest was shown very clearly by the students. Now we have to go forward carefully with the success of this initial attempt.
Given below is a short video capture of a drama practice of the students of Chullipuram Victoria College, which we were able to witness during our visit. :)