Rural Knowledge Centers of Sri Lanka

Rural Knowledge Centres

Global Knowledge Centre (Nanasala) Project volunteer Pushpa teaching at Koslanda, October 2008

The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) has announced that its Rural Knowledge Centres are now up and fully functional. Five locations in the Badulla district, Glananor, Heeloya, Welimada, Bandarawella and Koslanda of Sri Lanka, now have fully equipped telecentres with 24hr 128 kbps internet connectivity via VSAT.

The Rural Knowledge Centre project (Formally called Vishva Gnana Kendra project), part of the Global Knowledge Centre (Nanasala) Project, is one of the projects implemented under the e-Sri Lanka Initiative through ICTA under the leadership of the Prime Minister. Running under the banner of "Vishwa Denuma Gamata" or "global knowledge to the village", the key objective of this programme is to establish multi-service community information centres, or Rural Knowledge Centres which provide access to internet, e-mail, telephones, fax, photocopy, computer training classes and other ICT services as well act as a hub of local, national and global information resources to provide an catalytic effect for the rural communities in poverty reduction, social and economic development and peace building while aiming at providing these services in a long-term, sustainable manner. In the first phase, it is estimated that around 100 centres will be created in 100 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the South and North East regions which have little or no access to Information Communication Technology. 50 southern centres will be completed by July and 50 NE centres will be in operation by December 2005 as part of the telecentre network for Sri-Lanka. These centres follow an entrepreneur owned model where eligible owners who reside within the community can apply and are selected in a transparent, competitive evaluation process and are given intensive training in how to run a sustainable telecentre for the benefit of the owner as well as the local community.