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Friday, 17 April 2015 - 10:27
Celebrating 20 Years of Nation Building Initiatives in Sri Lanka: Ericsson, together with Mobitel and OUSL inaugurates Connect To Learn in Polonnaruwa
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On the occasion of Ericsson’s 20 year anniversary in Sri Lanka and the official inauguration of the Connect To Learn initiative in Polonnaruwa, Mr. Denis Brunetti, Head of Ericsson Sri Lanka, presented the Hon. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, an Award of Appreciation at the Royal College of Polonnaruwa in recognition of the enduring partnership Ericsson shares with the people of Sri Lanka.       

Earlier in the day, under the auspices of Mr. P.G Kumarasingha, Chairman of SLT Mobitel, Ericsson Sri Lanka in partnership with Mobitel and Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) officially inaugurated the Connect To Learn initiative in Polonnaruwa with the ceremonial opening of the lab at OUSL campus. The initiative, which aims to enhance the computer literacy of young girls across Sri Lanka, empowers them by providing new learning and employment opportunities.

Female students from underprivileged communities usually find it difficult to acquire a higher education due to lack of resources. Connect To Learn injects new hope into the lives of these students and helps them develop new pathways to attain sustainable opportunities for learning, thereby supporting the government’s vision of securing education for all. The Connect To Learn Sri Lanka initiative includes the provision of laptop computers, broadband internet access, online educational resources and relevant training. The technology gives students and teacher’s access to 21st century educational tools and resources, and the ability for cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.
 
Mobitel, in alignment with its sustainability commitment to accelerate growth of the digital economy in Sri Lanka with particular emphasis on education, is providing the mobile connectivity required to facilitate the ‘Connect To Learn’ initiative. Ericsson provides the end-to-end ICT solution required to implement the project, in addition to project management, systems integration and remote support capabilities. Further, Open University of Sri Lanka is responsible for providing the teachers, learning facilities and content focusing on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training for young girls from farming communities with the aim of equipping them with the required knowledge and skills in these areas.

Denis Brunetti, Head of Ericsson Sri Lanka, said: “In celebration of our 20 year anniversary in Sri Lanka, it gives me great pride and pleasure to expand our Connect To Learn Sri Lanka initiative to Polonnaruwa, shortly after it was successfully launched in Kandy earlier in the year. The Connect To Learn initiative marks the first milestone of Ericsson’s ‘Technology for Good’ programme in Sri Lanka, and we look forward to joining hands in partnership with the government and the people of Sri Lanka in continuing to harness the power of ICT to fuel our collaborative Nation Building endeavors for the greater good and benefit of Sri Lankan society. An innovative public-private partnership of this nature provides the ideal way forward for Sri Lanka to achieve its vision of education for all, regardless of gender or race. The farming community in Sri Lanka forms the economic backbone of the country, and by empowering these communities with ICT skills, we hope to enhance their livelihood, whilst opening up new avenues of learning and employment for young girls from these communities. Ericsson shares the government’s vision of uplifting the lives of rural farming communities, particularly through education.”

Ranjith G. Rubasinghe, Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel said, “I extend my best wishes to Ericsson for its 20th anniversary in Sri Lanka, and commend the Ericsson team for functioning as a responsible corporate citizen and long term Nation Building partner to the people of Sri Lanka. We are delighted to have joined hands with Ericsson and the Open University of Sri Lanka for the historic inauguration of the second Connect To Learn lab in Polonnaruwa in the gracious presence of Mr. P. G Kumarasingha, Chairman of SLT Mobitel. Mobitel has been at the forefront of reshaping education in Sri Lanka on a platform of technology to make our youth true 21st century citizens. We are committed to reducing the digital divide in the country and we are engaged in multiple initiatives that are putting technology into the hands of people at the grassroots, across all walks of life. We believe in the power of education and equal opportunity for all. By empowering female students from farming communities across the nation, we believe the Connect To Learn initiative will invariably open up new vistas for all of them. Together with our partners, we believe that when we empower a girl, we empower a nation.”



Picture Caption - On the occasion of Ericsson’s 20 year anniversary in Sri Lanka and the official inauguration of the Connect To Learn initiative in Polonnaruwa, Mr. Denis Brunetti, Head of Ericsson Sri Lanka, presented the Hon. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, an Award of Appreciation at the Royal College of Polonnaruwa in recognition of the enduring partnership Ericsson shares with the people of Sri Lanka.
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