e-Education, Learning & Employment – Winner 2014
Project Title : e-thaksalawa, The National e-learning portal for General Education
Organisation: Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka
Country : Sri Lanka
Website : www.e-thaksalawa.moe.gov.lk
Language: Sinhala, Tamil, and English as a bilingual

Since February 2013, the ICT Branch of the Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka has established e-thaksalawa, the National e-Learning Portal for General Education. The portal is a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) aimed at providing all learning materials and course content covering all the subjects from Grade 1 to Grade 13 of the GCE (A/L) streams and also general knowledge. It seeks to be continuously developing and therefore, become an endless repository of all learning materials for formal education, informal education as well as education for special needs students. The production/creation of the e-thaksalawa has been completely done as an in house project using teachers who are working in government schools in Sri Lanka.

Further, it uses free and open source software to make it affordable and sustainable. The main intention behind introducing the LCMS is to provide equity of education for the students given the multi ethnic community (Tamil, Sinhala & English), geographical boundaries and other existing issues pertaining to the delivery of formal education in the island nation. Through this, it is expected to reach the students who have been left behind due to various reasons and also students who require information and resources on formal education, nationally and internationally. The site gets 80,000-90,000 daily hits. The final goal of e-thaksalawa is to reach all the 4 million students and 2, 25,000 teachers in the country.

Project Title : “Buddy4study.com – A Scholarship Portal”
Organisation: Smiling Star Advisory Pvt Ltd.
Country : India
Website : www.buddy4study.com
Language: English
Email: ashutosh@buddy4study.com
Smiling Star Advisory Private Limited launched the Buddy4study website in 2011-12 to increase awareness about scholarships and fellowship opportunities. It has now evolved into a comprehensive scholarship information portal which brings together both scholarship seekers (students) and scholarship givers (educational institutions, NGOs, Foundations, etc). The website provides timely information on all scholarships on offer, eligibility criteria etc. and other relevant information. It also takes applications from eligible candidates, selects the most eligible ones and provides application support. For scholarship providers/promoters, the website offers a technology platform for creating any number of schemes and promotes them free of cost through its website, media partners, SMSs, e-mails and network of partner NGOs and foundations. The service has launched India’s first scholarship SMS alert service. So far, more than 1000 students, parents & teachers have subscribed for the SMS alert service. It has also published India’s first Scholarship Guidebook for school students. More than 500 books have been sold. So far the project has seen 3 consecutive cycles of more than 1000 scholarship schemes. The project also helps facilitate scholarships disbursals and charges a small fee of the amounts disbursed to make the operations sustainable.
Project Title : iChemist – Titration Simulator
Organisation: X Fast Games
Country : Sri Lanka
Website : www.ichemist.xfastgames.com
Language: English
Email: isuru@xfastgames.com
In April 2014, Sri Lanka based X Fast Games launched iChemist which is a fully featured chemical titration simulator. It allows users to simulate acid-base titrations on almost all i-devices (including iPad, iPhone, and iPod) and also on Mac and Windows platforms. The application allows users to mix dozens of chemical species, add titration indicators, and design their own experiments. iChemist is designed to simulate all practical conditions that users can expect to have when performing a titration. It is also designed to follow concepts such as limiting reactants, weak dissociating acids and bases, ionic equilibrium and many more. Users can also draw pH curves during the titrations. Complex algorithms in iChemist allow users to perform titrations with multiple acids or bases and with multiple indicators. All content is moderated by chemistry professionals in the field. This is a first of its kind software. iChemist has been deployed worldwide through iOS App store and currently has a user base of more than 200. iChemist is designed for world-wide high school students (16-20 year olds) who have interest in chemistry and specially for those who do not have the privilege to use an actual chemistry lab to learn about chemical titrations.
e-Education, Learning & Employment – Special Mention 2014
Project Title : ADB TA7872, Khan Academy Localization Project
Organisation: Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka.
Country : Sri Lanka
Website : www.adb.org
Language: English, Sinhala, & Tamil
Email: smdcjp@gmail.com
With the help of an ADB Technical Assistance Grant, the National Institute of Education and the Ministry of Education of the Sri Lanka government launched in January 2014 a project to localise video tutorials of the globally acclaimed Khan Academy. The project initially mapped existing Khan Academy mathematics videos with the entire mathematics curriculum for Sri Lanka’s formal school education and localised them and then started developing new videos to cover the gaps. The search function allows students to search the videos in English, Sinhala and Singlish (Sinhala typed in English – the SMS language) for better access. The videos are listed in text book order and students can simply navigate and synchronize the topics with their text books and vice versa. Three versions of the system namely stand alone, hosted (Limited) and YouTube Channels have been developed. The prime objective is to enhance the mathematics skills of Sri Lankan school children while making the subject more acceptable and enjoyable in a school environment. All schools will be provided with the comprehensive video library with all required documentation for uniform access by year 2015. Right now more than 800 students in 20 schools are using the system for their day to day mathematics learning.
Project Title : NEKTech-Linux
Organisation: NEKTech Research Labs
Country : India
Website : www.nektech.in
Language: English
Email: pankaj.saraf@nektech.in
Launched in January 2014, NEKTech-Linux for Engineering Education is India’s first-ever educational Operating System that serves the entire requirement of engineering education. It has been built to provide backbone support to engineering education and offers all necessary Open Source software in a single package. The product is at present available in three versions. These are NEKTech-Linux for Computer Science, NEKTech-Linux for Electronics & Electrical and NEKTech-Linux for Mechanical & Civil. The OS provides a set of in-built development tools such as code-block for C-programming, Eclipse for Java-programming, MonoDevelop for .Net-programming, Wireshark or Network Analysis and also provides tools such as cscope for code browsing. It offers an user friendly GUI work environment. At present it is being used in GGITM, Bhopal.
Project Title : Xomidhan
Organisation: Xomidhan
Country : India
Website : www.xomidhan.org
Language: English
Email: dutta.anshuman08@gmail.com
Launched in January 2010, www.xomidhan.org is the first organization in North East India to provide free cloud based online career counseling to students by tapping the expertise and experience of the non-resident North East diaspora as counselors. All users have to do to know about career related matters is to log in to the website, click on “Ask a Question” and fill in the form. In the next 15 days, Xomidhan replies back after getting the response from its pool of counselors. Apart from career counseling, the website also provides free access to articles customised specially for students from North East India and written by Xomidhan counselors. It also collaborates with other regional newspapers/magazines to answer career related queries as part of its efforts to reach people who cannot access the Internet. The organisation is planning to introduce a new facility called “Super 10” which will provide scholarship and mentorship to 10 selected students from North East India. It is also working on publishing a magazine of its own. The website can be accessed even from a mobile phone and GPRS connectivity to ask the desired question. So far, the website has answered 853 questions and has a counselor pool of over 300.
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