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ComBank launches ‘Sipnena’ e-learning on Microsoft Cloud

11 May 2015 02:37 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A new educational website that will bring the universe of knowledge closer to Sri Lankan children has been launched by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon as a community initiative that builds on the Bank’s on-going commitments on a national scale, in the spheres of IT literacy and online education.
A unique pilot project linking ‘Sipnena’  the new website, with 10 schools in diverse regions such as Jaffna in the north, Beliatta and Matara in the south, Minneriya, Kegalle and Kalawana in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa, and  Nawalapitiya in the hill country, has been launched by the Bank as the first phase of this initiative.
Registered under the .lk and .com domains, and to be hosted free on the Microsoft Cloud by Microsoft Sri Lanka,  the ‘Sipnena’ website will offer students free access to content carefully selected to support their educational needs, in line with local curricula, via the IT Labs donated by the Bank to these and 152 other schools around the country. Commenting on this latest initiative by the Bank’s CSR Trust, Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Jegan Durairatnam said: “Our objective is to create an environment that integrates technology as a natural part of the educational experience and provides all learners with the skills to access knowledge that will be a foundation for their future. As a bank that is ahead in technology and a pioneer in technological advancements, we are keen to give the same technological edge to our future generations.”
He said the launch of the ‘Sipnena’ Educational website is the logical progression of the Bank’s innovative online education programme, under which more than 60,000 children from 66 schools are currently accessing carefully selected mathematics and science lessons via a specially created web platform, to supplement their regular lessons in these subjects.
For the launch of ‘Sipnena’ the Commercial Bank has brought together the expertise of its own IT team headed by the Chief Information Officer; H-One, a leading IT Solutions company; Microsoft Sri Lanka, which has agreed to host the website on the Microsoft cloud free of rental; the Group Leaders of the Service Learning teams of the University of Colombo who will categorise the web-based lessons in accordance with the respective grades; and the Bank’s CSR Unit, which will coordinate the project.
Speaking about the ‘Sipnena’ launch, the Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives of Microsoft Sri Lanka Imran Vilcassim commented: “Sipnena Online Links offer immense potential for increasing exam success, decreasing the cost of education, and providing expanded options for learning. Still, overcoming the public’s conventional views on technology could be difficult. For instance, despite lots of media and industry buzz about the personalised nature of online instruction, the majority of teachers and parents still view traditional, classroom-based education as better tailored to each individual.”
The 10 schools participating in the pilot project for ‘Sipnena’ are Meewanapalana Maha Vidyalaya – Horana, Sri Parakrama Maha Vidyalaya – Aruggoda, Denagama Maha Vidyalaya – Hakmana, Beliatta,
Nagalakanda Navodya Maha Vidyalaya – Minneriya, St. Thomas’ College – Matara, Jaffna College – Jaffna, Rambuka Maha Vidyalaya – Kalawana, Agamathi Balika Vidyalaya – Panadura, Hiriwadunna Maha Vidyalaya – Kegalle and St. Andrew’s College – Nawalapitiya.
The next phase of the project will include the installation of equipment such as LED TV screens and web cameras to provide video conferencing facilities, enabling teachers to carry out interactive teaching and learning sessions for the school clusters, the Bank said.

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