National online network increases prospects for higher education
9-July-2007 (Daily Mirror-FT)
The Distance Education Modernisation Project (DEMP) of the Ministry of Higher Education would lend to building strong private public and foreign partnerships in education to provide an opportunity for more students to access higher education online.
This was revealed at the inauguration ceremony of the Sri Lanka Association of Distance Educators (SLADE), which hopes to bring out skills and capabilities and promote professionalism in the distance learning field.
The DEMP funded by the ADB has in line educational institutions like the Open University, private and public sector organizations as well as professional organizations offering over 35 degrees, diplomas and certificate programmes through the National Online Distance Education Service (NODES).
This is a countrywide high speed network varying from 2 to 10 Mbps connectivity at fully equipped NODES Access Centres located at Ampara, Monaragala, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Matara, Ambalangoda, Kurunegala and Ratnapura.
â€œFurthermore, we have developed seven pilot programmes with three universities which will be launched hopefully next month,â€ spoke DEMP Project Director Shantha Abeyawardena.
â€œAt present not more than 15 percent of qualified youth get admitted to public universities,â€ he continued.
â€œOnly 0.375 percent of the total student population of four million of the country get to follow their higher education. This is because of the limited resources available within the higher education institutions in not only the public but private sectors as well,â€ it was pointed out.
â€œThe DEMP has the highest priority on behalf of the state to provide wider access to students who are keen to pursue higher education because we all know that the young students will be the human resources base for the development of the country,â€ he said.