Microsoft to empower migrant worker community with ICT skills
Microsoft Sri Lanka in partnership with the Sri Lanka Anti Narcotics
Association (SLANA) and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE)
under the patronage of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Promotion and
Welfare Ministry announced a grant aimed at supporting the migrant
worker community in Sri Lanka.
The grant will see the opening up of eighteen centres in ten
districts across the country to benefit thousands of migrant workers who
plan to go overseas.
The program also includes the training of master trainers who will in
turn train the other instructors at the centres.
One key highlight of the entire program is that the training will not
be limited only to the migrant workers, but will also include one member
of his or her family, who will be given the same training on how they
can use ICT as a simple and faster tool for communication.
Sri Lanka Anti-Narcotics Association President Asitha Gunesekara,
Asia Pacific Region President Tracey Fellows, Foreign Employment
Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera, Foreign Employment
Promotion and Welfare Ministry Secretary Nissanka M Wijeratne,
Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Chairman Kingsley
Ranawaka and Microsoft Sri Lanka Country Manager Sriyan de Silva
Wijeyeratne at the launch.
In 2009, Microsoft Sri Lanka partnered with SLANA and the Foreign
Employment Bureau (SLBFE) in an effort to empower the migrant worker
community via ICT with the launch of a multi-faceted training process
inclusive of basic IT skill development, provision of information and
mentoring to enhance the workers' employability and economic security.
Microsoft Sri Lanka provides both the funds (including the most
recent grant renewal), and the necessary software and teaching material
for this project which is carried out at the SLBFE training centres
around the island while SLANA came on board as chief facilitator and
The project launched with three centres dedicated towards this cause
and has since expanded across the island, with the most recent centre
opening in Badulla earlier this month, empowering over 10,000 migrant
workers in the region. One of the key elements of the IT component
within these programmes is ensuring that migrant workers and their
families have pre-established communication channels to ensure that no
disruption to their families are caused by their long absences from the
children's day-to-day lives. In particular, SLANA believes that one of
the leading problems among the families left behind which is the high
risk of substance abuse by the spouse left behind can be combated by
proper communication access.
The programme consists of a specially designed accelerated five-day
programme focusing on basic computer literacy including an abridged of
the Microsoft UP Curriculum, components of emailing and browsing the
net, sending and receiving pictures and SMS messages through mobile
phones, using the Sinhala and Tamil Language Packs (introduced by
Microsoft Sri Lanka in 2009) to help develop communication skills in
local languages and a general overview of excel to provide an
introduction into money management.
This programme is a component of the compulsory two week training
programme conducted by the Foreign Employment Bureau for all migrant
The IT component of the programme is also targeted towards the
families of the migrant workers, with local nenasala branches enabling
both basic IT training to these families and providing work spaces for
practice, thereby ensuring that the project not only establishes
communication channels for the migrant workers but also their families.
Aspirations Education facilitates applications to UK universities
Aspirations Education (AE), one of the pioneer career guidance and
student placement service centres in Sri Lanka said that the unit is
able to channel local student applications to any British university,
being a registered centre of the UCAS (Universities and Colleges
Admission System), the British admission service for students applying
to universities and colleges.
By channelling their applications via Aspirations Education students
are able to select up to five courses and/or universities to apply.
Application deadline for this programme is June 30 every year. For the
year 2011 applications, it costs œ11 to apply for one course or œ22 per
student to apply to two or more courses.
In the meantime, those applying for medicine, dentistry and
veterinary science courses can only select up to four preferences
(although the other choice can be used to apply for different courses).
The deadline for these courses is October 15, 2011, for the September
2012 intake. More than half a million people who wish to study at a
university or college in the UK use UCAS services each year. UCAS
provides an online application portal and application processing system
where students can apply up to five UK universities of their choice
where they wish to pursue their undergraduate studies.
Aspirations Education is a UCAS registered career guidance center and
will guide Sri Lankan students to choose a proper undergraduate course
at a reputed UK university of their choice, and to submit their
application through UCAS. Aspirations Education helps students to secure
a placement and will assist students throughout the application process
including Visa counselling.
"Aspirations Education is registered with the UCAS customer database
and therefore are able to process applications to almost every British
university and Aspirations Education will assist these students with the
initial UCAS applications, selecting university choices, guidance on
writing personal statements, guidance with obtaining reference letters,
arranging UCAS clearing placements and obtaining UCAS guidebooks on
course selection," said Aspirations Education General Manager Deepamala
Aspirations Education has channeled students to many British
universities including Sheffield University, Queen Mary University of
London, Liverpool University, Brunel University, Coventry University,
Nottingham Trent University and many more.
Through channelling applications for any university in the UK of
their choice with the assistance of Aspirations Education, aspirant
students can stand a high chance in entrance pathway which is hassle
free and secure. Students who missed the 2011 intake can apply for the
2012 intake; also students seeking entry to Medicine and Dentistry in
2012 must apply before October 15, 2011.
Approved and authorized by the Australian High Commission to assess
and issue Pre Visa Assessments (PVA), Aspirations Education is
registered in the UCAS customer database and is permitted to process the
application via UCAS.
The centre has been trained and certified as a Singapore Education
Specialist by government owned Singapore Education. It's also a pioneer
member of the British Education Representatives Association in Sri
Lanka, (BERA) established with the British Council.
Accredited as one of the leading student placement centres for
Malaysian Universities, Aspirations Educations is certified as a New
Zealand Education Specialist by the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
LG to top Global 3D TV market
At IFA 2011 held recently in Berlin, Germany, LG Electronics (LG)
announced its intention to be the top 3D TV brand by the end of next
year, on the back of the strong public acceptance of its CINEMA 3D TV
"The 3D TV market is expected to grow dramatically in 2012 due to
technological advancements in 3D and the expansion of content
distribution," said, LG Home Entertainment Company President and Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) Havis Kwon.
"LG intends to become the leader in 3D TVs to the extent that we
become synonymous with all things 3D," he said.
According to Kwon, the acceleration in adding smart features to 3D
TVs will increase the competition for an industry-standard ecosystem.
Success in the TV market will no longer rely solely on the actual TV,
but instead the ecosystem, he said.
Since its launch, LG's CINEMA 3D Smart TV has already boosted LG's
share of the 3D TV market.
By next year, LG will field a wider array of products from high-end
to entry-level with 3D included in about 70 percent of all new home
LG Electronics will continue to raise the 3D bar by working in close
partnership with LG Display and other LG companies that contributed to
the development of Filmed Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology, the
science behind CINEMA 3D. And LG is aiming to further develop its
content sourcing capabilities to provide 3D Video-on-Demand (VOD)
services with an emphasis on content specially tailored for different
Enhancing its Smart TV ecosystem is a key component of LG's TV
business strategy. Strategic partnerships with 3D broadcast, online
video sites and game companies will enable customers to directly access
a wider variety of content. The Magic Motion Remote Control, a key
feature of LG's successful Smart TV platform, will get greater
LG's 3D TVs will gradually transition to an open architecture
platform, making it far easier and convenient for developers to create
apps and content for LG's TVs. By creating a vibrant market for TV apps
and content, LG expects to significantly expand the adoption of 3D. LG
is also working with LG display to develop next generation, Ultra-High
Definition (UD) Display Technology which will be integrated into their
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) TVs planned for launch next year.
UD screens offer four times greater resolution than existing high
definition (HD) screens. Aggressive R and D will also be geared towards
developing glasses-free 3D displays.
Abans, the sole agent in Sri Lanka for LG Electronic and Home
Appliances are very optimistic that LG will be No.1 in the Global 3D TV
market by next year.
LG 3D Smart TV's are selling well in Sri Lanka at very affordable
terms offered by Abans through their showrooms islandwide.
MBSL special promotion for children
MBSL Saving Bank's Punchi Savings account was introduced with the aim
of motivating children to save more for their future.
With this in mind and to enhance the product value, the bank is now
launching a special promotion from October 1 to November 30, where any
account holder that opens a Punchi Savings account within this period,
is eligible to be included in the competition where they have the chance
of winning the first prize of Rs 25,000 or the second and third prizes
of Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively. In addition, 10 more account
holders are also have the chance of winning Rs 1,000 each.
With attractive interest rates and an initial deposit of only Rs 100,
the Punchi Savings Account offers gifts such as mountain bikes, cameras,
kids computers, toys, school bags, umbrellas, caps, tills and many more
items which would be treasured by children.
It also offers additional benefits for the Punchi Account that
include free children's health insurance policy to the value of Rs
50,000 when the account balance reaches Rs 20,000 with a 6% interest
Fortune G-P Farms feted at NCE Awards
Bairaha Farms Managing Director Yakooth Naleem receiving
the National Chamber of Exporters award.
Fortune G-P Farms (Lanka) Ltd. was recognized with a Bronze award in
the Agriculture Value Added - Small category at the recently held awards
ceremony of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka. Fortune G-P
is Sri Lanka's most advanced and the leading producer of broiler breeder
parent chicks for Sri Lanka and export markets.
Fortune G-P Farm (Lanka) Ltd is a joint venture between Bairaha Farms
PLC and Crysbro Group of Companies.
The company has established a unique position by exporting broiler
breeder parent chicks, a non-traditional export.
Fortune G-P Farms (Lanka) Ltd has a well established position,
locally and in the export markets, due to its high standards of
production and facilities that conform to Western standards. The farm
and hatchery facilities are regularly monitored and inspected by the
visiting representatives from the company's Principals, Cobb-Vantress
Inc. Since the company produces prime breeder chicks for local
consumption as well as for export, the Department of Animal Production
and Health also pays regular visits to monitor both the facilities as
well as the flocks of grand-parent birds, to ensure that quality parent
chicks are produced from the farm and hatchery. The farm's location is
in a very rural and isolated area in the Matale district has enabled it
to maintain high standards of hygiene as well as bio-security whilst
providing employment to the people in the area.
Fortune G-P saves valuable foreign exchange by producing breeder
parent chicks in Sri Lanka and at the same time, earns foreign exchange
by exporting quality parent chicks.