Forty schools to get KhanAcademy material in Sinhala

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Armed with a $725,000 grant, the Asian Development Bank has translated mathematical materials from the non-profit KhanAcademy and MathCloud into Sinhala for Sri Lankan students. Forty schools across Sri Lanka went on trial a while ago with this new program, reportedly to determine whether e-learning should be integrated into mathematics lessons nationwide. It’s been a little over a week into the six-month trial.

“Boosting mathematics skills and critical thinking is essential in today’s modern world. Computer technologies can complement regular classroom teaching in a way that can bring everyone up to international levels in an individual way,” said Asian Development Bank (ADB) South Asia Department Director Sungsup Ra, in a statement to Lanka Business Online.

We at README think it’s quite fortuitous that this move is being made – e-learning, despite being a catchword in Sri Lanka at the moment, is an inevitable fixture in the future of education. Sites such as gurulk.com and edulanka.lk are gaining increasing traction with a wealth of practical content being posted online.

Of course, the biggest problem facing this service would be the lack of ICT penetration – namely, the lack of computing power and Internet access to areas that might benefit from this system the most. Nevertheless, this is one small step for a syllabus, but one giant leap for Sri Lankan education.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It is welcome news that ADB and khanacademy has joined together to produce elessons for mathematics in Sinhala language. khanacademy’s comprehensive program for schools, including students’ performance record keeping will aid the Sinhala students. SERVE eLearning Institute were not able to translate the mathematics or the science lessons due to technical and language difficulties. We at SERVE eLearning institute has created our own eLessons in the Tamil Medium, using open source materials from the web and the GCE O/L curricula, for Year 10 mathematics and Science curricula and half way through the Year 11 curricula. We trained teachers in the two subjects to produce the elessons over the past two years. Please visit our website servelearn.org.

    We have used them with students in two schools that were not performing well in math and science, after schools, Saturdays and holidays and found the school doubled their past GCE. O/L pass rates. The second batch is now following the elessons. The program including the eLessons we have produce is free for the schools and students. We have trained five school math and science teachers in the Northern Province and will be, with the consent of the Northern Education Ministry, introducing it in 20 schools in the North that does not have enough qualified teachers in Science and Mathematics. We hope to expand the free service to Tamil Medium schools in other provinces in Sri Lanka.

    It is very strange that the Asian Development Bank, knowing that the North and East and the Tamils have gone through a Civil War during the last 30 years and now in the post war period but still in political conflict would not have thought of translating khanacademy lessons in the Tamil Medium also. I hope the Asian Development will consult with the Northern Ministry of Education to help them keep abreast with ADB assistance to the war torn areas where children are still at risk. One would expect such a funding organization would be concerned in their approach to financial assistance to education of all children in Sri Lanka.

  2. Dr. Ethirveerasingam, I have actually taken this issue up with the ADB directly and have received updates with regards to the Tamil translations, would be happy to update you, please advise the best way to get in touch. Thanks!

  3. First of all I would like to thank Yudhanjaya for sharing the Khan Academy Localization Project.

    Answering Mr.Ethirveerasingam’s statement, we are delighted to hear what you do to educate Tamil children and appreciate your valuable contribution.

    As Yudhanjaya correctly stated, The localization project has Tamil translation component down the timeline and we are currently in discussion with National Institute of Education.

    Meantime please look at the Khan Academy Tamil page and see weather it can be used in your in class initiatives.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/KhanAcademyTamil

    I would like to hear more about the e-learning activities what you are up to. Please send me an email with details to [email protected] to discuss further how your noble service can benefit all Sri Lankan Tamil children.

    Thank you.

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