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Sri Lanka to enhance artificial intelligence (AI) literacy among students

By: Staff Writer

July 05, Colombo (LNW): Even as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the field of education globally, Sri Lanka’s attempts at embracing this rapidly-evolving technology leave much to be desired.

In planning to introduce courses on AI to the education system, the Cabinet of ministers has decided that it was appropriate to introduce the proposed courses with the recommendations made by the task force appointed for the formulation of a national strategy and plan related to AI.

“As a part of the strategic plan, a pilot project is designed to introduce AI courses to general education,” the Government Information Department disclosed.

UNESCO believes that AI has the potential to address some of the biggest challenges in education, innovate teaching and learning practices, and accelerate progress towards the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4).

In its ‘Artificial Intelligence and Education: Guidance for Policy-Makers’ publication, it notes that the entry of AI into the world of education has meant that ‘intelligent,’ ‘adaptive,’ and ‘personalised’ learning systems are increasingly being developed by the private sector for deployment in schools and universities around the world.

However, questions remain on the feasibility of Sri Lanka’s plans for integrating and adopting AI into education, given the instability within the system that has been exacerbated since Covid disrupted education.

In a landmark move to enhance artificial intelligence (AI) literacy among young students, the Technology Ministry yesterday announced the successful launch of AI Clubs in schools.

This initiative, part of the National AI Strategy 2024-2028, aims to equip students with essential AI knowledge and skills, preparing them for a future where AI competencies will be crucial.

The initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Technology Ministry, Education Ministry, AIClub, SLASSCOM and IronOne. AIClub CEO and a world-renowned pioneer in AI literacy Dr. Nisha Talagala, leads the program, bringing her extensive experience and leadership to ensure its success.

Addressing the gathering, State Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath highlighted the importance of this initiative.

“Our National AI Strategy is a five-year roadmap designed to address the challenges of AI adoption and take AI to the grassroots level.

The Technology Ministry is launching AI clubs in schools nationwide along with the Ministry of Education to promote AI literacy and innovation, with the aim of creating a thriving AI ecosystem in Sri Lanka that benefits all sectors of society,” he added.

The initiative envisions AI education accessible to all schools across the country, regardless of region or demographic.

The combination of a world-class platform, the expertise of AIClub, and the involvement of both the private sector and development agencies, supported by strong leadership and commitment from policymakers, positions Sri Lanka to be on par with advanced countries in AI literacy at school level.

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