Theekshana, which had been set up by University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) in Sri Lanka to handle its International and Local donor funded consultancies signed an agreement with Telecentre.org Foundation to host and maintain eLearning Platform of Global Telecentre.org Academy on 3rd of June, 2010.
Prof. Gihan Wikramanayake Director UCSC who is also the chairman of its company signed the agreement on behalf of Theekshana and Dr. Basheerhamad Shadrach , Executive Director signed on behalf of telecentre.org Foundation.
Originally launched at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in 2005, as a program of IDRC, telecentre.org was instrumental in creating telecentre networks in about 70 nations with more than 15 of them now functioning as vibrant and dynamic networks that impact the way information, services and opportunities are offered to remote populace and the marginalized sections of the society.
The late Prof. V. K. Samaranyake, the founding director and the father of Sri Lankan Telecentre movement guided Telecenter.org to establish global Telecentre.org Academy which he envisioned training and certifying Telecentre workers and managers worldwide. After his untimely passing away in 2007, UCSC and Information and Communication Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) joined together to form Telecentre.org Academy of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan academy was inaugurated by Prof. P.W Epasinghe, Chairman ICTA in February 2009 in the presence of 500 Nenasela operators becoming one of the 14 founding countries of Local Telecentre.org Academies.
In August 2009, Vice chancellors of 14 universities worldwide were
gathered in New Delhi India and were hosted by Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) to form a university of consortium and
collaboration between IGNOU and Telecentre.org formally. Prof.
Kshanika Hirburegama, Vice Chancellor of University of Colombo, Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe, Director, UCSC, and Mr. Harsha Wijayawardhana of UCSC represented Sri Lanka where a letter of Intent was signed among the 14 universities in establishing this historical collaboration. It was agreed at this meeting that the secretariat of the Telecentre.org Academy would be setup and managed by IGNOU.
Subsequently, UCSC was requested to host and maintain eLearning Platform of the Academy and UCSC guided telecentre.org Foundation in the selection of its eLearning Platform as well as building its very first courses. Mr. Harsha Wjayawardhana of UCSC acted as a technical advisor in the selection of eLearning platform and is a member of the author panel of 7 certificate and diploma courses which will be released this year by Telecentre.org Academy. It is expected that the eLearning Platform which is managed by UCSC will serve between a million to two million students worldwide by the end of 2011 who will follow certificate and diploma courses for Telecentre workers and managers initially.
It is planned that degree level and post graduate level courses to be offered by the consortium of universities in Telecentre management once the certificate level and diploma level courses are underway. Sri Lankan academy under UCSC will facilitate creating on-line content with Learning Objects (LO) in 20 different languages which include Sinhala and Tamil.