SLIIT, Sri Lanka’s premier non-governmental degree awarding institution, has partnered the country’s National Television network, Rupavahini, in sponsoring the ‘Guru Thalawa’ educational program to support and uplift children preparing for this year’s GCE Advanced Level examination.
To-date, Rupavahini continues to televise and offers a variety of popular live and pre-recorded educational programs to enhance the knowledge, attitudes and skills of school children throughout the country.
The ‘Guru Thalawa’ educational program caters to students preparing for the GCE Advanced Level examination and is telecast by Rupavahini as a series of valuable revision lessons. During the most challenging periods experienced by the education sector due to Covid, the ‘Guru Thalawa’ educational program offers students lessons in the A/L curriculum subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Technology, Commerce as well as Arts, taught by some of the most experienced and popular faculty in the country.
SLIIT has come forward with commitment and support of the ‘Guru Thalawa’ educational program presented by Rupavahini to help students overcome this challenging situation not only through academic and subject knowledge but also to strengthen their mental well-being.
The programme commenced with live sessions launched on September 23 with the distinguished presence of Dallas Alahapperuma, Minister of Education, Sports and Youth Affairs, the Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Reginald Cooray, Chairman, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Erin Wijekoon, Director Education, Rupavahini Corporation, Bandara Dissanayake, President Sakya Institute and Prof. Lalith Gamage, Vice Chancellor, SLIIT and other invitees.
With the pandemic situation and limited access to education, the need for educational programs of this nature has never been more acute. Realising the gravity of the situation, SLIIT has taken steps to conduct seminars and workshops on subjects such as ICT and Physics, conducting online lessons through the ‘Sip Saviya’ educational program further supporting the children.
However, SLIIT understands that all children in the country do not have connectivity to the internet and the technology required to access these online educational programs. To overcome this challenge and address the issue, SLIIT in collaboration with Rupavahini Corporation has taken the necessary steps to sponsor and televise the Guru Thalawa Educational Program nationally.
SLIIT’s main objective since it was established in 1999, was to nurture the knowledge of children throughout the country and to-date is proud to have produced 12,000 graduates. SLIIT’s teaching staff comprises expert professionals who are dedicated to educate students. SLIIT’s partnership with the National Television Channel to promote educational programs for children is a boon for all students.
During the pre-publicity event for the ‘Guru Thalawa’ program, Prof. Saman Thilakasiri, Dean Faculty of Engineering, SLIIT explained, “Attracting and keeping students engaged in lectures has been a major challenge faced in distance learning. However, SLIIT has been conducting teacher awareness sessions, training workshops and seminars since last year to inculcate interesting teaching methods. Through the introduction of the ‘Eduscope’ platform, SLIIT has been successful in overcoming challenges by recording the courses and lectures and then allowing students to view them, helping students resolve any issues arising from the lectures.”
Participating in the ‘Nuga Sevana’ program of the National Television Channel commented on SLIIT’s sponsorship of the ‘Guru Thalawa’ educational program Prof. Nimal Rajapaksa, Deputy Vice Chancellor, SLIIT, said, “At this juncture when the nation’s children are facing serious barriers to their education, it is our responsibility as an institution to come forward and help them overcome these obstacles. Since the pandemic began, we teamed up with the Ministry of Education to train teachers on conducting online lessons. Today, the face pf education has changed tremendously. Five to six decades ago it was based on the concept of ‘talk and chalk’ where everything was written on the blackboard. However, today education is very different and student-centered. The advances in technology, the Internet, and television have all been instrumental in providing student-centered education.”
He added, “Within a week of the pandemic and to face the challenges and health restrictions, together with all our lecturers, SLIIT was able to conduct all student educational activities via the internet. We are happy to note that during this time over 2,000 SLIIT students were able to graduate from our institute. Programs such as ‘Guru Thalawa’ make it easier for students to face an exam. The program is of great assistance to help children prepare by providing revision before the exams. For our nation to progress to a knowledge -based economy, a very high level of education is necessary. Plans should be put in place to ensure the country’s education system advances and technology is a paradigm shift to reach these goals.”
Commenting on the live broadcast of the ‘Guru Thalawa’, Prof. Lalith Gamage, Vice Chancellor, SLIIT, said that SLIIT’s vision is to make life successful through knowledge development and is constantly ensuring that as an institute it provides students with an experience that transcends subject matter and courses.
He further noted, “As an institute of higher learning, we willingly accepted the invitation to join this program. We work closely with the Ministry of Education and schools and are engaged in many projects. Through our various programmes we aim to inculcate not only subject matter but how to contribute to society as good citizens, collaborating with others in a university and also how to cope in a professional environment. Previously we have been involved and supported the ‘Guru Gedara’ educational program and now through this new program, which I consider as a great honour to contribute to the education of our children.”