“Thousands of children are denied access to education each year which is an unacceptable hedge against our country’s future. The fact that we’re a leading software company benefitting daily from the knowledge economy only accentuates our resolve to do something,” said Dimuthu Nilanka – Chairman of the 2018 CSR Committee at ISM APAC
It’s not news that the Sri Lankan education system is in dire need of an overhaul. From the very early grades to the lessons that students learn in A/L classes to university lectures. It’s very questionable as to whether the curriculum will help students meet the challenges of the 21st century.
However, that’s not all that needs to change
There are many schools beyond Colombo that lack even the most basic facilities. In such schools, it’s practically impossible for students to have a conducive environment that facilitates learning.
The issues highlighted above are a few reasons as to why ISM APAC conducts its annual Sipsatharata Arunellak (සිප්සතරට අරුණැල්ලක්) – Helping hands for Education program. The purpose of this program is to help underprivileged children get access to quality education.
Thus, ISM APAC invests both time and money in ensuring these children can receive a quality education. They receive global support from their employees across its global offices in The Netherlands and Ukraine.
Onwards to Sipsatharata Arunellak 2018
The program, which occurs annually, chose Weragala Vidyalaya located in Habarana for this year’s program. This school currently has 55 students enrolled. However, this school was one that lacked the basic facilities to provide a conducive learning environment for these students. In fact, they didn’t even have a roof over their heads.
This is why ISM APAC chose this school for the program and offered a new building. One that was equipped with new facilities that could offer a better education to these students. Thus, making the long-time dream of the principal of the school who had a vision of developing the school but lacked the resources.
Having developed Weragala Vidyalaya, ISM APAC also donated equipment to upgrade the facilities of another school in the Anuradhapura district, which was Kumbukgahawewa Primary School. ISM APAC shared that these facilities can be used by the school from the coming year onward.
An opening ceremony was held to mark the completion of the new building at Weragala Vidyalaya on the 17th of November. The opening saw employees of ISM APAC from The Netherlands in attendance with the students of the Anuradhapura district. Describing this year’s program, Priyantha Perera – Operations Director at ISM said, “We were given a grand welcome by the little kids and were able to see genuine smiles in all of their faces.”
Improving education in Sri Lanka isn’t easy
But this isn’t all that ISM APAC does to improve the state of education in Sri Lanka. As we mentioned earlier, the issues aren’t merely at the school level. Even at the university level, there is work to be done.
Here ISM APAC hosts free lectures for the students of different universities, which are conducted by their employees on various topics. The goal of these lectures is to help ensure that future graduates have the skills required by the industry.
At the end of the day, the education system in Sri Lanka has multiple issues. None of them can be fixed overnight. Yet, companies like ISM APAC taking small steps like these are a good place to start.