Sihini Brings New Dreams to Gamini Public School, Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Sihini Brings New Dreams to Gamini Public School, Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka


Sihini Atalugama

Miss Sihini Atalugama is a Sri Lankan American teenage girl living in Tampa, Florida, the United States of America. Her parents, Lalani and Asela Atalugama had been helping Horizon Lanka since 2002 by providing scholarships to the students of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya.

Last June, Sihini visited Mahawilachchiya with her younger brother Thehan Atalugama and her parents on a week-long volunteering assignment. Since Horizon Academy in Mahawilachchiya was grooming Gamini Public School as a “sister school” by providing foreign volunteers, IT related equipment, musical instrument, etc. to this school, the Horizon Lanka Foundation directed Sihini to volunteer at this school which brought immense benefits to the school.

Sihini and her brother taught English to the students here. Sihini also initiated a program to provide financial scholarships to the students of this school by launching Bright Light Foundation on her own initiative with little guidance from her parents. Visit www.brightlightconnect.org and assist her in this boundless initiative. She hopes to raise funds for the scholarships program through her website and direct the funding to brighten the lives of the students in this small school in which around 200 students’ study.

On top of all these Sihini’s parents donated money to the school to buy a few dictionaries, sports jerseys and shorts for the school volleyball team and also some school supplies and USB pen drives to the school. They also brought reading glasses from the USA and distributed them among the villagers in Dunumandalawa, Mahawilachchiya.

Sihini also hopes to raise funds to provide an air conditioner to Gamini School’s computer lab in the future. There are a few other projects lined up for the school if the school authorities show that the funds are managed transparently and utilized effectively for the benefit of the students and the school.

Pramodhya Gunarathna pramodhya.umayangani.gunarathna@horizonacademy.lk – Grade 10 – Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya

Sihini Atalugama with the students of Gamini Public School, Mahawilachchiya
Sihini Atalugama with the students of Gamini Public School, Mahawilachchiya
Sihini Atalugama in the USA
Sihini Atalugama in the USA
Distribution of reading glasses to the villagers in Duunumandalawa, Mahawilachchiya
Distribution of reading glasses to the villagers in Duunumandalawa, Mahawilachchiya

Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura Needs Your Support

Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura Needs Your Support

Horizon Lanka Foundation started its second Horizon Academy in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka in December, 2017. Mr. Rohana Kumarasingha and Ms. Nadeeka Kumarasingha from Ralapanawa are running this academy. Nadeeka was an alumnus of Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya.  She is a dynamic young lady who does a lot for the students and the community at large in the village through her hard work.

Ralapanawa Students

The running cost of the Horizon Academy here per month is around 25,000 LKR | 156.68 USD | 133.90 EUR. This cannot be recovered from the students as their parents get a very low income or in some cases, no income at all. Hence the three-year-long drought disturbed the villagers’ main income, farming, they undergo a lot of hardships. So, we have decided to charge only a 100 LKR | 0.63 USD | 0.54 EUR fee per month from a student here. If we get 100 students per month, we would be able to get 10,000 LKR | 62.67 USD | 53.56 USD. This will cover part of the monthly expenses from of the academy.

Since we cannot afford to pay the teachers, we depend on local and foreign volunteers to teach English and ICT here. So far, 19 foreign volunteers have taught the children in this Academy. We expect more local and foreign volunteers to join us soon.

The foreign volunteers teach English free of charge in the public schools in the mornings and this is totally free of charge for all the students in those schools. The students come to Horizon Academy in the evenings. Foreign volunteers teach during the week days and local volunteers can help teach these students English, ICT, science, mathematics, fine arts and sports during weekends. For the local volunteers, the villagers will provide food and accommodation free of charge. (Foreign volunteers pay the host families for their food and accommodation.)

The students have to pay the above fee for attending Horizon Academy as there are some costs involved in the Academy such as electricity, internet, telephone, stationary, transport, entertaining guests, etc. So, if any of you could help us with these expenses, please email us on info@horizonlanka.org. (All contributions and expenses will be recorded, audited and shared with the donors and other stakeholders.)

Nanda Wanninayaka, The Founder and the Chairman of the Horizon Lanka Foundation

Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna Needs Your Support

Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna Needs Your Support

maniyanthoddam-girlsHorizon Lanka Foundation started its fifth Horizon Academy in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Nallur, Sri Lanka in June, 2018. Mr. Gunasegaran Ponniah from Kirimetiya, Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya was the person who recommended me this village mainly because of Father S. M. Sebastian OMI, Parish Priest who is a dynamic priest who does a lot for the students and the community at large in the village through his hard work. He already had another academy called Eugene Academy and all we had to do was to use its premises and resources to establish Horizon Academy there.

The running cost of the Horizon Academy here per month is around 25,000 LKR | 156.68 USD | 133.90 EUR. This cannot be recovered from the students as their parents get a very low salary or in most cases, no salary at all. Besides, this is a village that was reduced to rubble during the bitter civil war and people still face a lot of financial issues. So, we have decided not to charge a fee from the students here till the end of December here. After that, we will charge 100 LKR | 0.63 USD | 0.54 EUR per month from a student. If we get 100 students per month, we would be able to get only 10,000 LKR | 62.67 USD | 53.56 USD. This will cover part of the monthly expenses from January, 2019.

Since we cannot afford to pay the teachers, we depend on local and foreign volunteers to teach English and ICT here. So far, three foreign volunteers have taught the children in this Academy. They were Ms. Clara Charriere, Ms. Pauline Oswald and Ms. Laurie Kuhne from France and Ms. Ashwini Balan from Singapore. Ms. Emilie Østmo from Norway is the present volunteer here. We expect more local and foreign volunteers to join us soon.

The foreign volunteers teach English free of charge in the public schools in the mornings and this is totally free of charge for all the students in those schools. The students come to Horizon Academy in the evenings. Foreign volunteers teach throughout the week days and local volunteers can help teach these students English, ICT, science, mathematics, fine arts and sports during weekends. For the local volunteers, the villagers will provide food and accommodation free of charge. (Foreign volunteers pay the host families for their food and accommodation.)

The students have to pay the above fee for attending Horizon Academy from January, 2019 as there are some costs involved in the Academy such as electricity, internet, telephone, stationary, transport, entertaining guests, etc. So, if any of you could help us with these expenses, please email us on info@horizonlanka.org. (All contributions and expenses will be recorded, audited and shared with the donors and other stakeholders.)

Nanda Wanninayaka, The Founder and the Chairman of the Horizon Lanka Foundation

Ms. Emilie Østmo, the Norwegian volunteer teaching the students of Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna
Ms. Emilie Østmo, the Norwegian volunteer teaching the students of Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna

Ms. Emilie Østmo teaching the students of Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Sri Lanka
Ms. Emilie Østmo teaching the students of Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Sri Lanka
The students learning English at Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Sri Lanka
The students learning English at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Sri Lanka
The students of Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Sri Lanka
The students of Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Sri Lanka

Horizon Academy – Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya Needs Your Support

Horizon Academy – Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya Needs Your Support

Horizon Lanka Foundation started its fourth Horizon Academy in Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka in May, 2018. This was started due to the untiring efforts of a teacher named Mr. Ponniah Gunasegaran from a small village called Kirimetiya in Nanu Oya. 

The general belief of rest of the country is that the children here in tea estates in the Up Country are not ready to learn and they dropout from schools at a young age and directly join the work at tea estates or elsewhere. But, what I saw was totally different. The kids and the parents here pay a great attention to education and some kids even speak some basic English.

Since we cannot afford to pay the teachers, we depend on local and foreign volunteers to teach English and ICT here. So far, three foreign volunteers have taught the children in this area. They were Mr. Alain Horst and Ms. Laura Horst from Switzerland in May and Ms. Balbina Gramespacher from Germany in July. We expect more local and foreign volunteers to join us soon.

The running cost of the Horizon Academy here per month is around 25,000 LKR | 156.68 USD | 133.90 EUR. This cannot be recovered from the students as their parents get a very low salary. One estate worker gets only an average salary of 650 LKR | 4.07 USD | 3.48 EUR per day. Still, if education is provided totally free of charge, they would not understand the value of it. So, we decided to charge 100 LKR | 0.63 USD | 0.54 EUR per month. If we get 100 students per month, we would be able to get only 10,000 LKR | 62.67 USD | 53.56 USD. We cannot expect that many students initially. Our aim is to attract that number of students by December, 2018.

The foreign volunteers teach English free of charge in the public schools in the mornings and this is totally free of charge for all the students in those schools. The students come to Horizon Academy in the evenings. Foreign volunteers teach throughout the week days and local volunteers can help teach these students English, ICT, science, mathematics, fine arts and sports during weekends. For the local volunteers, the villagers will provide food and accommodation free of charge. (Foreign volunteers pay the host families for their food and accommodation.)

The students have to pay the above fee for attending Horizon Academy as there are some costs involved in the Academy such as electricity, Internet, telephone, stationary, transport, entertaining guests, etc. So, if any of you could could help us with these expenses, please email us on info@horizonlanka.org. (All contributions and expenses will be recorded, audited and shared with the donors and other stakeholders.)

Nanda Wanninayaka – Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation

The students of Horizon Academy - Nanu Oya with the staff members
The students of Horizon Academy – Nanu Oya with the staff members
Students of Horizon Academy -Nanu Oya
Students of Horizon Academy -Nanu Oya
Mr. Ponniah Gunasegaran
Mr. Ponniah Gunasegaran
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka with the students
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka with the students
Desford School, Nanu Oya
Desford School, Nanu Oya

 

Opening a Horizon Academy Franchise in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Opening a Horizon Academy Franchise in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Father S. M. Sebastian

Nanda Wanninyaka, Founder and Chairman of the Horizon Lanka Foundation

Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF) was inaugurated in 1998 under the shade of a mango tree in my garden at Mahawilachchiya. The day I started the HLF, I did dream of starting similar academies in Jaffna, Batticaloa & Nuwara Eiya where the majority of ethnic minorities reside in Sri Lanka.

But it took me 20 years to realize two of these dreams, thanks to this gentleman named Mr. Gunasegaran Ponniah from Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya. He had sent me a letter sometime back in 2014 and sought my help for the public school where he was a teacher at the time.  His was a snail mail, I forgot (or ignored) to answer. It happens with most of the snail mails I (rarely) get. Besides, we were not in a position to help any others at that time, as the HLF too was struggling to survive at the time. (I now strongly believe that I should have answered his letter even with a negative message.)

Sometime in 2015,  when the students were doing a ‘clean up’ of the Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya, one of the girls showed me Gnasegaran’s letter (which was to go to the dustbin, but was destined for something greater), which  I was forced  to answer. Since there was a telephone number, I called Gunasegaran and he answered.  I apologized for not answering his mail and told him that I will not be able to do much without visiting his village. I casually asked him to call me on Fridays to check if I can make it to his village in Nuwara Eliya. Would you believe it?  That he called me  every Friday and reminded me about my (possible) visit for two long years,  till I actually managed to visit him on the Sri Lankan New Year day this April with one of my German volunteer’s;  19-year-old Miss Pauline Dinkel? Such was his commitment, I felt really bad for not visiting him earlier.

With Gunasegaran’s tireless efforts we started a Horizon Academy franchise in Nanu Oya last May with the arrival of two Swiss volunteers Mr. Alain Horst & Mrs. Laura Horst. The official launch will be organized soon. While speaking with Gunasegaran, I asked if he has any contacts in Jaffna who would like to join us to start a Horizon Academy there and he readily introduced Father S. M. Sebastian to me from a little hamlet called Maniyanthoddam in Jaffna. I communicated with the latter via the phone and he sounded the ideal person to have from Jaffna as he commands a lot of respect from the village and elsewhere and also he has amazing organizing skills. He was so patient and soft-spoken and always made allowances for my hasty and abrupt decisions and arrangements.

We scheduled a visit to Maniyanthoddam during a weekend with our foreign volunteers. But I could not make it as I fell ill. But the foreign volunteers from the HLF went ahead with the visit and did a marvelous job by meeting with Father Sebastian and the people there and convincing the people there the importance of stating a Horizon Academy franchise in Maniyanthoddam. Our French volunteer, brave Miss Clara Charrière, a 19-year-old charming young lady from France, instantly decided that she would volunteer in this former troubled land, which was reduced to rubble during the 30-year-old civil war. (All I see in her is the same determination shown by Sarah Jordan Beauford (Angelina Jolie) in the Hollywood movie “Beyond Borders,” a terrific movie made on volunteering in hostile lands.)  Luckily for her, Jaffna is not hostile or troubled anymore. People in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna are very friendly and helpful. I especially like the young there, who ride their motorbikes quite fast at night and still have some time to share a smile with us.

I eventually did visit Maniyanthoddam on May 19th with Clara and Mr. Sagara Kularathna, an employee at Dialog Axiata who was an adult student of mine some years ago and mastered English at a record speed and Miss Paulin Oswald, another 19-year-old French volunteer of Horizon Lanka, who also joined us and said she would love to volunteer at Maniyanthoddam with Clara.

We did a presentation to the students and the parents about HLF and its achievements and the franchise system that we recently introduced to expand the Horizon Academies throughout the island. Clara and Pauline stayed back in Maniyanthoddam at two students’ homes and Sagara and I returned to our respective residences in Colombo and Mahawilachchiya.  On the following Sunday May 26th Sagara and I visited Maniyanthoddam once again , this time Sagara donated his Wi-Fi connection as a personal gift to the Horizon Academy in Maniyanthoddam. All of us trained the children in some dance items and the announcements for the Official Opening Ceremony of the Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam on Saturday 02, June, 2018.

Today I am going to Maniyanthoddam with a few teenage students and their parents and these students will perform with the students from Maniyanthoddam at the Opening Ceremony we have scheduled at 6.00 pm on Saturday 02, June. Please join us at that time and if everything goes as planned, we will livestream the two-hour Opening Ceremony and the concert through Facebook. You may subscribe to my official FB stream at https://www.facebook.com/nanda.wanninayaka.official and that of the Horizon Lanka’s at https://www.facebook.com/horizonlankafoundation/.

Paulin Oswald and Clara Charrière at the Raiway Station, Anuradhapura to board a train to Jaffna
Paulin Oswald and Clara Charrière at the Raiway Station, Anuradhapura to board a train to Jaffna
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka doing the presentation while Father Sebastian translating it into Tamil
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka doing the presentation while Father Sebastian translating it into Tamil
Local and foreign volunteers at the presentation
Local and foreign volunteers at the presentation
Proposed building for Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam
Proposed building for Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam
Volunteers and the staff of Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam
Volunteers and the staff of Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam
Miss Clara Charrière at her host's house
Miss Clara Charrière at her host’s house
Miss Pauline Oswald at her host 's house
Miss Pauline Oswald at her host ‘s house
Pauline with her new friend
Pauline with her new friend
Having dinner with Father Sebastian after work.
Having dinner with Father Sebastian after work.
Roads in Maniyanthoddam
Roads in Maniyanthoddam

Introducing Basketball to Horizon Academies

Introducing Basketball to Horizon Academies

Children at Horizon Academy - Ralapanawa playing basketball

Horizon Lanka Foundation promotes 10 sports at its academies. They are cricket, volleyball, soccer, American football, handball, baseball, rugby, elle, basketball and martial arts. Students fell in love with basketball after watching the Hollywood movie “Coach Carter.”

Miss Clara Charrière from France brought a few basketballs and she also teaches the game to the students. Still we don’t have proper courts and hoops for the game. If any of you want to help us with them, please contact us.

Prabodha Kalotuwawa – Prabodha.sandeepani.kalotuwawa@horizonacademy.lk

Students playing basketball at Horizon Academy - Ralapanawa
Students playing basketball at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa
Coach Carter Poster
Coach Carter Poster

ICT Workshop – 1 (May 05, 2018) at Horizon Lanka Foundation by CompSoc of University of Colombo

ICT Workshop – 1 (May 05, 2018) at Horizon Lanka Foundation by CompSoc of University of Colombo

Sumedhe Dissanayake

The Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF) has had strong links with CompSoc, and the University of Colombo since the inception of the HLF. The CompSoc of University of Colombo was the very first university to hold an ICT Workshop at the HLF. This happened 16 years ago. Dr. Kasun ……… , then a representative of the CompSoc of University of Colombo, communicated with me and held the very successful first ICT workshop at the HLF, Mahawilachchiya in 2002. After this, other universities also followed suit.

These workshops helped the students of the HLF enormously and most of the students continued their higher education in ICT and became ICT related professionals and entrepreneurs.

On May 05, 2018 the HLF resumed the partnership with the CompSoc of University of Colombo. I wrote to my friend whom I am yet to see in person, Dr. Hakim Usoof, an ICT lecturer of the University of Colombo in March, 2018 and he immediately arranged the first workshop at the HLF with the support of Mr. Sumedhe Dissanayake, the Vice-President of CompSoc of UoC and also an undergraduate of the University of Colombo. On May 05, 2018, a team of undergraduates comprising he Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Junior Treasurer and one Committee Member of CompSoc were there.  of the CompSoc of University of Colombo. I thank Dr. Usoof, CompSoc and the University of Colombo for all the hard work done. We also hope the partnership continues in the long run and the students of the HLF are benefited like it happened in the past.

Nanda Wanninayaka – The Founder and Chairman of the Horizon Lanka Foundation.

Sumedhe Dissanayake addressing the students and the staff of Horizon Lanka Foundation
Sumedhe Dissanayake addressing the students and the staff of Horizon Lanka Foundation
Students of Horizon Academies at the workshop in Horizon Academy - Anuradhapura
Students of Horizon Academies at the workshop in Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura
Members of CompSoc, University of Colombo and the students and the staff of Horizon Academies after the workshop
Members of CompSoc, University of Colombo and the students and the staff of Horizon Academies after the workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horizon Virtual Academy – Draft

HORIZON VIRTUAL ACADEMY

CONCEPT PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

Nanda Wanninayaka

Nalaka Gunawardene

Mark Frazier

 

 

This concept paper developed by Horizon Lanka Foundation (www.horizonlanka.org) is aimed at creating a web-based repository of instructional and educational videos initially for free access to anyone, anywhere through a virtual academy. The project will also livestream both indoor and outdoor classrooms through the project’s website for anyone during its first year (2018) and for a nominal fee from 2019 for its subscribers. We propose to do this in the local languages of Sri Lanka – English, Sinhala and Tamil at the beginning and later add more languages using the 100+ foreign volunteer teachers who volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation since 2004.

 

THE PROBLEM

Since Independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has been trying to improve education in the country using various ways. Though education is free in terms of not levying fees, the money spent comes through the taxpayer. It has long been debated how Sri Lanka’s impressive rates of primary and secondary schooling can be matched by a corresponding increase in the quality of education.

The disparities in the public education system mean entrance to ‘popular schools’ entails much competition. Given the limited number of places, entering university is even harder. On average, only a small percentage of those who enter Grade One enters university.

Both students and parents are constantly looking for better educational facilities but the options available in Sri Lanka are limited. There is a big void in the education system.

Private tuition classes respond to this void. It is a thriving business so much so that the students and the parents pay more attention to private tuition than to regular school teaching. Students spend a significant amount of time – and their parents, money – for private tuition.

Even with the option of private tuition, there remain gaps. Students are not able to access teachers/lessons when needed at their convenience. At present there is little opportunity for this.

Web-based lessons such as Dialog’s Guru.lk, Etisalat’s Web Patashala and Education Ministry’s, e-Thaksalawa have responded to this need. The Dialog and Etisalat solutions require payment, while the Education Ministry’s solution is only text and image based is not using voice – the most important element in teacher instruction. Besides, it doesn’t give an environment to interact with the teacher.

 

 

 

VISION

Our vision is to create high quality educational lessons based on video and upload them as both live and recorded files to a low-cost, public access video sharing platform so they can be available for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

MISSION

Our mission is to create video based educational content with the participation of talented teachers, and then promote their use as widely as possible.

THEORY OF CHANGE

Computer literacy in Sri Lanka is on the increase. Distribution of personal computers and mobile devices are also spreading throughout the country. Internet access costs are decreasing due to market competition. High speed internet, mobile broadband and 4G mobile coverage also are spreading fast. Both 3G and 4G coverages in Sri Lanka by the 5 mobile operators (Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat, Hutch and Airtel) and the 4 fixed line broadband operators (Dialog, SLT, LankaBell and Suntel) are encouraging and there is already a pilot run successfully to test 5G coverage too.

This augurs well for disseminating web-based video lessons. Our inspiration and model is the Khan Academy www.khanacademy.org, started by Salman Khan, an entrepreneur of Bangladesh origin living and working in the United States. It was launched in 2006 as a non-profit educational website to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. (In fact, Horizon Lanka Foundation initiated creating e-lessons and disseminating it to the students in 2005/06 era with the help of Mark Frazier from the United States of America and his organization Openworld LLC, long before Sal Khan started his initiative.)

The Khan Academy website features thousands of educational resources, including a personalized learning dashboard, over 100,000 exercise problems, and over 5,000 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on YouTube. These offer lessons related to a wide range of subjects and topics such as mathematics, history, healthcare, medicine, finance, physics, general chemistry, biology, astronomy, economics, cosmology, art history, economics and computer science. All resources are available for free. Khan Academy reaches about 10,000,000 students per month and has delivered over 300,000,000 lessons according to Wikipedia.

 

 

 

 

 

THE SOLUTION

The Horizon Lanka Foundation will start a website named www.horizonvirtualacademy.org and will live stream some of the selected classroom and outdoor lessons the 5 existing Horizon Academies in Sri Lanka do with the local teaching staff and the foreign volunteer teachers. Streaming would be done through both YouTube and Facebook and if there is any, other channels that stream free of charge. The users (students, parents, teachers) could subscribe to both YT and FB feeds of Horizon Virtual Academy and watch the lessons live.

The other method is to have a free access, web-based video lessons repository at the same website. The lessons are to be created in English, Sinhala as well as Tamil, using suitably expressive and experienced teachers.

Lessons could be created from Grade 1 to Grade 11 in the first phase and that can be expanded to high school level (Advanced Level in Sri Lanka) at a later stage.

Talented teachers would be invited and involved from both the government and private schools for creating video lessons. They should be paid a reasonable fee for their services. The videos would be filmed and edited by a professional video production team on a voluntary basis.

The lessons, most likely hosted on YouTube (which has advanced video streaming features enabling easier viewing), would be promoted by a dedicated website to be built and operated by this project (www.horizonvirtualacademy.org.) It will provide lesson menus, video synopses and other information that helps users to systematically use this free resource. Downloading videos for later, off-line viewing will also be allowed and encouraged.

Access to both live and recorded lessons would be totally free of charge for the subscribers initially but a small fee (around 150 LKR -1 USD) would be imposed for a month once the project gathers momentum and wins the confidence of the users. The subscribers would be able to pay for lessons through Dialog Axiata’s (www.dialog.lk) flagship e-money solution EasyCash.

 

ONLINE EDUCATION

We will give modern information using modern technology which will attract students towards studies. Our aim is to standardize the education, keeping our rates low so that a maximum number of students can take advantage.

Aims and mission of video lectures It is proven from researches that video learning methods help students to learn better than conventional teaching methods. Students entice towards video lectures and this interest leads them to apprehend the content and concepts of lectures more deeply. Video lectures aim to enhance motivation level and the learning skills of students. Hence, it helps students in getting good marks. We will be making videos which will attract students to apprehend the lectures more deeply and enhance their learning skills. Their creative skills will also make students critical thinkers.

For Sri Lankan and global organizations seeking to launch new systems that enable students to create open source eLearning resources, HVA will also offer sponsorship opportunities and chances to support pilot projects.

Early pilots may include an open source “Learning Landscape” app, now being developed by principals of Openworld (USA) and DigiPerfect (India), to create interactive 3D terrains for peer learners in any field of knowledge.

A key aim of this app is to give users the freedom to explore interactive “knowledge trees” along the pathways. Users will have freedom to create new trees – or help fill out branches of existing trees.

New trees in the landscape can be auto-created by importing structured text files produced by Mindnode and many of today’s widely-used 2D mind map programs.

Each Knowledge Tree will be based on a heart-head-hands pattern (aka emotion-cognition-action), with an early focus on preparing students and jobseekers to succeed in online markets.

HVA also will explore partnerships with Teachur (www.teachur.co), a new platform for global sharing of eLearning content with Blockchain-recorded certificates of accomplishment, and other pioneers in innovative uses of information technologies for skills development.

HVA intends to assist such partners in conducting globally visible tests of new peer learning systems, and record and share their experiences on social media. Such projects can help global innovators refine their offerings and prove their value and embark on crowdfunding campaigns that lead to further opportunities for HVA expansion.

LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABILITY

The Horizon Virtual Academy will also explore new ways to fund the growth of eLearning linkages with partnering communities. It will give preference in its expansion of the HVA model to communities that agree to commit sites for “Endowment Zones” to fund increased access to internet services and online learning resources.

These sites can generate revenues via startup ventures. A near term opportunity can come through helping local partners launch AirBnb ventures, in locations with appeal as short-stay housing for foreign volunteers and/or as ecotourism destinations.  A portion of the rental income can be allocated to good causes such as microvouchers for eLearning and eHealthcare for families participating in the HVA initiative. This could be a way to meet the costs of internet access, to fund student-created eLearning content, and to encourage youth and others to pitch in with community cleanup/fixups, art/music festivals, and other initiatives that make the area more attractive as a place to visit as well as to live in.

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL IMPACT

Sri Lankan students will immensely benefit by such a project as they can access the lessons from anywhere when they want. This will be different from attending a regular class in the school or at a private tuition center. The students will be able to access lessons through computers, laptops, tablets or mobile phones depending on their access device. Many of today’s students already use the web for games, social networking, music, video, etc., and the presence of a virtual academy will justify their internet access expenses.

 

THE TEAM

Project Leader

Advisors/Mentors/Consultants

Designers

Programmers

Teachers

Technicians

Operators

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

Equipment

Maintenance costs

Website Expenses

Salaries, allowances