IT Yahamaga – engaging grassroots youth in using Technology Securely

“Advancement of Technology has contributed to the upliftment of human life in many ways” is a widely agreed upon statement. However, there’s also another side to this story. Now a days, we hear more and more stories about how people, especially youth groups go astray through misuse of technology. These incidents have accelerated to a certain point where most of the parents, especially in the grassroots settings have started to show an aversion towards exposing their children to advanced Technologies.

“IT Yahamaga” is an initiative of Fusion Education (FE) to counter this growing issue. Through this program, we seek to educate grassroots students and IT Teachers about; if used properly, how technology can change our lives and the society we live in for the better. The campaign contains; discussions with the students about incidents where technology has been used as a medium in criminal activities, resulted in social unrest and contributed to social issues such as growing teenage suicides etc. and showcasing of a wide range of success stories where technology, especially social media has been used to bring about positive change in the society as well as personal growth.

Mr. Madushan Wijerathne; Sales and Promotions Executive of Sarvodaya Fusion promoting ICT Education opportunities
Students of J.R. Jayawardena Central College engaged in a group discussion session

The program is funded by Samaja Sathkara Foundation. In addition, Mr. Danesh Maduranga Edirisooriya, the Founder and Managing Director of the Foundation contributes to the program as the main resource person.

Mr. Danesh Edirisooriya educating students of Dhammananda Maha Vidyalaya on proper use of technology

With the assistance of FE District Coordinators, IT Yahamaga workshops are planned to be held across the 22 districts Fusion Education operates.

The pilot program was held in Kuliyapitiya, Kurunegala District on the 7th July 2015. The workshops were conducted in 3 National Schools; Kuliyapitiya Bibiladeniya Gunananda Central College, Kuliyapitiya J.R. Jayawardena Central College-Dummalasooriya and Kuliyapititya Dhammananda Maha Vidyalaya with the participation of 300 students (Age group 16 – 18 yrs) and IT Teachers and Principals of the respective Schools.

Students of Gunananda Central College posing for the batch photo
IT Teacher of Gunananda Central College receiving a study pack sponsored by Udubeddawa Nisala Nenasala from Ishika Millaniyage, Programme Development Executive of Sarvodaya Fusion
Students of J.R. Jayawardena Central College posing for the batch photo

As an encouragement to actively explore ICT Education options for the future benefit, all 300 students who took part in the workshops were granted full scholarships by Fusion Education to follow “Get Connected” program (An entry level ICT Course) of CISCO Networking Academy. The Course will be conducted at Udubeddawa Nisala Nenasala Telecentre by Fusion Education Kurunegala District Coordinator and Manager of Nisala Nenasala, Mr. Santhusha Jayatilake.

Mr. Santhusha Jayathilake briefing the students about the CISCO “Get Connected” Scholarship Program