NENASA- Disrupting Urban-Rural Education Divide.

Education, the treasure that can never be stolen, is the foundation upon which the future of an individual as well as the nation is built. It is a key factor that is necessary to make a country’s development sustainable. Along with the advancement of communication technologies, redefining the parameters of education, a vast amount of knowledge has become accessible for millions of people around the world within seconds. 

But, not all of us are fortunate enough to be among those millions. Students in urban schools have access to numerous sources of education such as internet and tuition classes in addition to what they receive from the school. Even so, if we turn to rural areas of Sri Lanka it is obvious that to some students, education is a luxury. Therefore, Rotaract Cluster 03 members decided to break that gap by making world knowledge accessible to the far corners of the Island at zero cost. Nenasa is a project conducted jointly by the Rotaract clubs of Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo, Academy Of Design, Kelaniya, Colombo, Negombo, Hatton Kotagala and Jaffna. It is aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education as well as Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. 
In this project we plan to develop an open distance learning platform to connect tutors from metropolitan areas of Sri Lanka with the students of Godella St. Sebastian School to deliver content, targeting 2019 GCE Ordinary Level Examination. In other words, educational videos as well as online lectures conducted by tutors will be communicated to the students via a You Tube channel in after-school sessions aiming to enhance their knowledge.

The project was officially commenced on the 24th of January 2019 with the participation of the Presidents and representatives of Cluster 03 clubs, Rotaract District members, the students and staff
of the Godella St. Sebastian School. The setting up of the infrastructure for the project including the wireless internet connection and a LED TV was completed that day. Then the first online session was conducted through the Nenasa You Tube channel in order to demonstrate to students as well as
teachers, on how to operate the system. The session content consisted of grade 10 mathematics and was created by Rtr. Yashika de Alwis from the Rotaract Club of the Faculty of Management and Finance University of Colombo. The platform will continue to function further and more content created by volunteers will follow, targeting the GCE Ordinary Level curriculum. 

The project was received with highly positive feedback from the students, teachers as well as the Principal. Nenasa is providing an entirely new educational experience creating more enthusiasm in
students to search for knowledge by themselves. It also gives them an understanding about how technology can be of immense importance in achieving their educational goals. We hope these efforts will lead to a significant improvement in the GCE O/L Examination pass rate among the students of Godella St. Sebastian School in 2019.

Thus we have taken the first step to the long journey of disrupting urban-rural education divide.

Written by:

Rtr. Ayodya De Silva
Member (2018/19)
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