Internet is indispensable in English and IT promotion
It was very recently the Government made its announcement by naming
this year as the year of English and IT. Though it’s little late we must
appreciate the forward step taken by the Government in the interest of
This initiative of the Government clearly reflects its commitment and
the interest it is having towards the development of IT industry in Sri
Lanka. This is one of the promises given in Mahinda Chinthanaya.
Gradually, yet steadily now this is turning in to the reality.
Teaching computer skills while still very young
As we all know the English and IT cannot be separated from each other
so easily. The mutual relationship these two are having is remarkable.
For instance, most of the computer based programs were designed and
programmed using English as the language.
However one could learn to use a computer in Sinhala. That’s our
native language. But when it comes to interact with the other countries
many problems could arise. Therefore, the English language is playing a
key role in IT industry in all aspects.
However English could not be another barricade in computer learning.
But knowing English would be an extra qualification. A person with a
little knowledge in English could use a computer for domestic tasks such
as typing, accessing the Internet, graphic designing and for
But some degree of English knowledge would be required for further
studying. Hence the rural community would learn English if there was any
requirement for them to do so. Therefore creating an objective is all
what we need to do if we really needed to promote English in the
In this context the computer would be a wise choice to enhance one’s
English knowledge especially in the rural community. Naturally people
would love to learn computers. Boys and girls are the enthusiasts.
Therefore this trend could be used to achieve our goal; learning
English with the aid of computers. Obviously this will be a challenging
task. But commitment and strategy really helps to overcome these
challenges that we might find in the future. Apart from these challenges
there are other elements too.
Having a computer today is useless without having an Internet
connection. There is nothing much one could do with his computer without
having an Internet connection. To unleash its powers a computer must be
connected to the Internet. This allows users to access the information
and services in the Internet with the movement of their finger tips.
Internet is more or less a multipurpose service which is capable of
delivering many services to its users affordably yet with great
Having identified this, many Governments in the world has taken
certain measures to promote the Internet growth in their respective
Internet flourishes with the Government. We could find handful of
examples from South Korea to Western Europe where Internet became
dominant simply because of Government’s leadership. The Government could
play a significant role in the Internet promotion in any society. The
same way the Government takes the leadership in education and health
care the Government must take the leadership in promoting Internet in
Even though the Sri Lankan Government took certain measures to
promote Internet in the country we have failed to deliver the right
thing to the society as yet.
In a successful model the majority of people in the country could
access the Internet irrespective of their social levels and place of
living. But this is not possible in Sri Lanka. Highly priced Internet
services with different service levels have prevented the user from
accessing the Internet. This situation is more critical in rural areas.
The time has come to change this. We have used number of plans and
methods in the process of promoting Internet in the country; these
projects were given with attractive names to distinguish their
importance in the society. But none of these projects or initiatives was
able to deliver the intended benefits to our people.
The majority of Sri Lankans are still not provided with a medium to
access the Internet to get their day to day tasks done quickly and
If the Government continued this stale methods and strategies it
would take another decade to get all citizens in to the stream of
As a country this is something we can ill afford. The economic
transformation process must be carried out in the country with the aid
of modern technology. In this regard the place occupied by the high
speed broadband Internet is unmatched.
The right integration of high speed Internet could bring number of
social and economic benefits to our society that no other technology
would deliver. Therefore the Government must make plans, change methods
and adopt new strategies where possible to assure the growth of Internet
in Sri Lanka.
The Government must welcome high speed broadband Internet. To achieve
the best out of this, nation wide priority must be given and specific
time table should be selected to make sure that the country could
achieve its intended benefits timely.
This allows the Government to make adjustments and alter its planes
at appropriate times where necessary. Since IT is recognized as an
evolving thing this flexibility would be required to maintain from start
to the very end. On the other hand static plans would be inappropriate
and it could make the entire project futile.
Firstly the Government must announce its embracement of high speed
broadband Internet to the society. This recognition from the Government
could deliver an important message to the society about high speed
All possible government services must be converted and made available
online for the use of the public. In this regard to increase and
motivate the public to use online based services more frequently,
incentives and concession schemes must be brought in an attractive way.
Public utility services
The iconic public utility services such as telephone, electricity,
tax payments and license renewals could offer its services to the public
at the initial stage.
To cope up with the oncoming demand all Government web sites must be
built with embedded intelligent-interactive features. Most of the
Government web sites that are found under the domain name gov.lk do not
provide an adequate service to its users. In this context, promoting
Internet in Sri Lanka could not be possible as long as the Government
stays away from the Internet.
However the Government’s Internet embracement alone would not be
sufficient to increase country’s Internet penetration. There are certain
other elements that need attention. Among them high speed broadband
policy is significant.
Today country’s broadband Internet operates in a policy vacuum
situation. However many fronts with different goals and agendas are
trying to increase the Internet penetration in the country. This lack of
coordination among institutes would have been the reason for Internet
not to become a success in Sri Lanka.
A common national program backed by the Government is essentially
needed if we really wanted Internet to be the dominant player in our
economy. In this regard manifest or policy for high speed broadband
Internet must be implemented with immediate effect.
English and IT vigorously flourish with the Internet. For certain
this would accelerate the English and IT growth in the country in more
effective way than anything else could do. Therefore the national goal
in English and IT literacy could be achieved easily in a shorter time
period if we took the advantages of Internet timely. [email protected]