SLASSCOM Supports Open University to launch new Software Engineering Degree Program through Teach IT for Sri Lanka initiative
The guiding force for the development of our nation’s IT/ BPM sector, SLASSCOM has now joined forces with the Open University of Sri Lanka to facilitate a specialised tutoring engagement program with the intent to ease the increasing demand for IT professionals, by the name of Teach IT for Sri Lanka. SLASSCOM, its member companies and its partners have recognized this growing need that the IT/ BPM industry faces, in terms of finding talent that are prepared to face the challenges of a real-world working environment and have been making concerted efforts through a number of avenues to overcome this challenge.
With 3,000 plus students enrolled, the degree program commenced in July of 2021 educating its participants on the subjects of computational thinking, working with data, software development and mobile application development.
Supplementing the practical value of the degree program, SLASSCOM invited existing professionals of the industry through its member organizations, to join in with the efforts of the Sri Lanka Open University. These professionals were invited to conduct knowledge and experience sharing activities for the students of the program, so that they could contribute to the up-skilling of the nation’s youth.
With 118 professional applicants shortlisted by SLASSCOM and recommended to the Open University, their engagement has now begun in October of 2021. Each chosen applicant is set to provide weekly lessons and lectures in order to train and develop the participating talent. The program is also supported by YouLead (a project by USAID) and tutor training provider Curve Up.
The holistic approach taken by SLASSCOM and the Sri Lanka Open University to this educational endeavour has been with the intention to share practical experiences, in order to create industry trained, future-ready talent. They are also working closely with a number of universities in an effort to close the observed talent supply gap, with talent of the necessary quality.
Vice Chairman of SLASSCOM, Ashique M. Ali spoke on the program stating, “We are proud to be part of this initiative and to help uplift the youth of our country. We are very happy for the participation of both professionals and academia in this project. I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Ajith Madurapperuma, the university’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr. Uditha Ratnayake the Director at the Centre for IT Education and Dr. Nalin Wickramanayake for their contributions and efforts in this monumental project.”
Nishan Mendis, Board Director of SLASSCOM added, “Up-skilling our tutors, trainers and educators is a crucial step in improving how future talent is groomed for a successful career. The training module that Curve Up has structured for us is comprehensive and this program is sure to be seen as a transformative experience to anyone that would participate.”
General Council member of SLASSCOM, Mangala Perera spoke on the weight of content added by top professionals stating, “The program we have put together has been made complete, thanks to the contributions of a number of top professionals that have shared their insights from the corporate world. That being said, we would also like to thank Dhammika Marasinghe, Kalana Wijesekara, Manual Thantriwatte, Udara de Silva, Sheshan Gamage, Bani Chandrasena, Natalie de Niese for volunteering their services for this pivotal initiative.”
SLASSCOM’s efforts to create a culture of knowledge sharing between the industry and academia could prove to be a revolutionary step in the development of the IT/ BPM industry and Sri Lanka’s economy as a whole. The Teach IT for Sri Lanka program will extend beyond the Open University degree program and will be enacted with more educational programs, especially the ones conducted by the SLASSCOM Academy. This is a valuable opportunity for SLASSCOM and its member organizations to be a part of this corporate social responsibility initiative and become a proud contributor in building the IT industry and developing Sri Lanka.