Galle IT/BPM Week to support Vision 2022 through capacity building drive
Fuelled by its rapid growth over past decade, Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry has set its sights on ambitious goals for the next several years – to bring in export revenues of US$ 5 billion by 2022, simultaneously creating 200,000 direct job opportunities with each job creating three more indirectly, and over 1,000 new startup businesses.
However, this does raise a vital question. Is our current education system equipped to match the demand this rate of growth will create? More importantly, is it able to create individuals with an entrepreneurial and innovative approach that is now required to succeed in today’s fast-paced, disruptive world?
Sri Lanka hasn’t been oblivious to the trends and demands of the global economy. In a short period of time, we have seen the rise of now-flourishing IT/startup ecosystem, which has formed the foundation for further growth. Yet, although much has already been done, there is still an urgent need to create more awareness around the opportunities these developments can bring, and to truly take ICT to all parts of the country.
Outreach to regional schools
While there are many initiatives currently being carried out to educate students at an undergraduate level about the opportunities available in the ICT/BPM sector and the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset, in order to truly cultivate this sort of thinking in the minds of our next generation, it is necessary to reach out to them at a much younger age.
Understanding this, SLASSCOM has for several years been conducting numerous activities with schools across Sri Lanka to create this level of awareness about the IT/BPM industry and the startup ecosystem among school children.
The latest initiative by SLASSCOM in this regional outreach programme is the Galle IT/BPM Week, which will take place on 4th, 6th and 7th July 2018, the third of the SLASSCOM IT Week series which were previously held in Jaffna in 2014 and Kandy in 2016.
Interestingly, having identified the importance of reaching out to our next generation of leaders during their formative years, the Galle IT/BPM Week this time around will focus purely on educating school teachers and schoolchildren over a three-day period, revolving around the theme of ‘Inspiring a New Generation of Creative Global Leaders’.
Inspiring creativity through technology
The first day of the Galle IT/BPM Week will be geared towards educating over 200 principals and IT teachers on the latest trends in technology and innovation. The interactive workshop will also touch on areas ranging from how entrepreneurship and start-ups can contribute to bringing about economic growth to ways in which students can be inspired to think creatively and innovatively.
This will be followed by a high capacity student awareness program on 6th July, which aims to open up the opportunities in the ICT/BPM industry to over 2,500 young minds. Focusing on schoolchildren from Grades 7-9, the workshops on this day will share with these young minds the value in choosing IT as a subject, and subsequently a career. Alongside these workshops will be an exhibition featuring the technological innovations of around 50 young innovators from all across the country, to inspire the visiting students.
Understanding the importance of learning to ‘walk the talk’, Day Three of the Galle IT Week will centre purely on hands-on technical sessions for over 500 students in the Southern Province.
This final day will comprise of hands-on workshops on Robotics (micro:bit), Programming (Scratch) and Innovation (MakerSpaces) with smaller focused groups, followed by a timely sessions on ‘Tech for Girls’ as well as ‘Parent Awareness’.
Partners in Innovation
The expected outcomes of the Galle IT/BPM Week are threefold – to encourage students to select ICT as a career, to build awareness around the latest trends in ICT among educators and to broaden the thinking of education ecosystem through innovation.
Supporting the Galle IT/BPM Week to reach these objectives are the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Export Development Board (EDB).
Educational and industry support has been provided by Platinum Partners – Microsoft and IFS, Education Partner – Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT), Corporate Sponsor – Dialog, Coverage Sponsor – SLIIT, Digital Media Partner – ReadMe, Educational Media Partner – LearnTV, Media Partner – Derana, and other sponsors Sysco Labs, 99X Technology, WSO2, Fortude, Zone 24X7, Pearson, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), CodeGen, IgniterSpace, RR Donnelley and Design Partner – Tryonics.
For more information on this ICT capacity building initiative, please visit http://galleitbpmweek.lk or search ‘Galle Information Technology and Business Process Management Week’ on Facebook.