Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sri Lanka Integrates AI into National School Curriculum through Partnership with Microsoft

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In a landmark initiative to modernize education, the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Sri Lanka has joined forces with Microsoft to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) into the country’s National School Curriculum. This strategic partnership, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 20, 2024, is set to prepare Sri Lankan students for the challenges and opportunities of the digital era.

Key Highlights:

  • Partnership Overview: This collaboration between the MOE and Microsoft aims to enhance the Sri Lankan educational framework by embedding AI technologies from grade eight onwards. As part of the agreement, Microsoft 365 will be provided to facilitate efficient communication and collaboration among students and educators.
  • Pilot Program Launch: A specially designed curriculum, developed by Microsoft Education teams in conjunction with the National Institute of Education (NIE), will be rolled out in twenty schools across all nine provinces of Sri Lanka. Embracing a “train the trainer” model, this pilot program is designed to ensure the widespread dissemination of knowledge and skills.
  • Notable Signatories and Attendees: The MoU was signed by Ms. Wasantha Perera, Secretary of the MOE, and Harsha Randeny, Microsoft’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives, at the Presidential Secretariat. The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests including US Ambassador Julie J. Chung, Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath, and Puneet Chandok, President of Microsoft India and South Asia.
  • Objectives: The partnership is committed to making AI accessible to all, enhancing the quality of education, and equipping students with essential skills for a rapidly evolving global environment. It emphasizes the shift towards a digital-first curriculum that incorporates future-ready skills.
  • Statements from Key Figures: Dr. Susil Premajayantha voiced his optimism about AI’s potential to elevate educational standards and prepare students for upcoming challenges. Harsha Randeny highlighted the transformative role of students and teachers and affirmed Microsoft’s commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s journey towards integrating AI into education.

About Microsoft:

Microsoft is a leading global technology company that champions digital transformation through intelligent cloud and edge solutions. Its mission is to empower every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more.

Implications:

This strategic alliance between the MOE of Sri Lanka and Microsoft marks a significant step towards incorporating cutting-edge technologies into educational practices. By empowering students with knowledge in AI and ML, Sri Lanka is poised to cultivate a generation equipped to make substantial contributions to both national and international technological progress.

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