Sri Lanka’s IT agency says those who had not seen a computer and those who had followed the school IT course knew much about IT-BPO after an awareness bulding programme in Jaffna.
The Information Technology Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) programme organised by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) created huge interest among the student population of the North. This was shown by more than 4000 students who participated in the three-day IT-BPO career guidance programme ICTA held at the Jaffna Vembady Girls’ High School the last three days of last month.
Out of the 4,000 odd students from grade 9 to 12 who participated in the programme the girls slightly outnumbered the boys. The overall keen interest of participants showed that IT-BPO as a career on a par with or higher than professions like those of doctor, engineer or accountant was an attractive proposition.
The programme seemed to have targeted the ideal group by focusing on the O/L , who formed 60 per cent of the participants, to pre-final A/L students.
These participants in the career guidance seminar conducted in the auditorium of the Jaffna Vembady Girls’ High School held parallel to the Jaffna Mini Infotel exhibition evinced great enthusiasm. "The students came both from schools in the Jaffna district and from distant places like Vavuniya and Mannar with IDPs among them. Yet they all manifested a remarkable interest. "They were quick to ask questions and raise their hands quickly when invited to offer answers or suggestions" an ICTA official remarked. "The Jaffna Vembady Girls’ High School principal, and the 40 girl guides who served as ushers at the IT-BPO career guidance programme with the senior girl guide and prefects, deserve special plaudits for the support given to make the seminar the great success it was," ICTA sources said.
The programme included attendance by the participants in groups at a one-hour seminar per group followed by visit to career guidance booths where nearly one-and-one career guidance was given by counselors from the Ministry of Education and the Industry. There were five one-hour seminars each of the three days. The counselors who were young yet well trained comprised 13 from the Northern Province Ministry of Education offices in Jaffna such as Kilinochchi, Thenmaraachchi Mannar, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya and 11 from the IT industry in Jaffna. They had been specially geared for the special counseling service at site on February 25. The youtn ministry of education personnel had been psychosocial counselors groomed for the IT-BPO programme with a sufficient dose of IT-BPO orientation. For the counselors from the industry IT-BPO was their forte. Altogether about 140 schools attended the seminar with an average of 40 students from each school. While 87 schools from the Jaffna district participated in the programme, there was particularly large number of participants from Vavuniya schools. The ICT knowledge of participants ranged from students who had never seen a computer before to those who were adepts in computer applications. "All participants left the programme with a sound understanding of Information Technology Business Process Outsourcing, even though when they joined the programme some of them had not even seen a computer," the ICTA spokesperson affirmed.