IEEE SLInspire 2019

IEEE SIGHT was established in Sri Lanka towards the end of 2018 with the intention of initiating humanitarian projects in the country. The group’s first initiative, “SLInspire,” will play an important role in strengthening the bonds in the multicultural society of Sri Lanka.

SLInspire, a collaborative project of the Sri Lanka SIGHT group and SL2College, is designed to resolve some of the critical challenges faced by the Sri Lankan student community. The project employs a sustainable approach in a significant way, while working to promote effectiveness and efficiency in the country’s education system. The tertiary educational system in Sri Lanka is established in such a way that getting into state (public) universities, the most sought-after choice, is a luxury that fewer than 17% of all students who take the university entrance exam (Advanced Level Examination) can achieve. Even this 17% is not fully aware of all the degree programs available and what awaits them after graduation in their respective fields. The other 83% of students have to search for alternative options for their career.

The utter objective of SLInspire 2019 is to address these issues by raising awareness among the student community through a series of workshops. We envision a future where we will be creating a skilled workforce for the development of the country every year, developing the human capital of Sri Lanka by contributing to students’ secondary and tertiary education. We strive to address this via two main projects: 1. School Seminar Series and 2. Research Collaboration. Further, we hope to conduct the seminars in three languages, i.e. Sinhala, Tamil, and English, converging student communities of all the provinces of Sri Lanka and thereby equally providing educational and career guidance to students of all ethnicities from urban and rural areas in Sri Lanka.

School Seminar Series

This will be an initiative where the school children will be guided on to their next step in life. They will be informed about their options so that they can arrive at a decision which best reflects their ambition. The seminar series will be conducted all around the country, covering all the rural areas where students are only aware of the traditional career paths such as Medicine, Engineering, Law, and Arts.

We believe that all Sri Lankan students have immense potential within them. However, the majority fails to realize their potential, perhaps in part due to the lack of self-confidence, motivation and awareness. SLInspire 2019 will cover all the districts across Sri Lanka including districts such as Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Matara and Kandy. The Sri Lanka SIGHT group will organize the events, speeches/speakers, and refreshments. Seminars will be conducted during school hours and consist of four sessions; 1. Higher education opportunities in public sector universities & other institutions 2. Higher education opportunities in the private sector 3. Opportunities in vocational training and 4. Personality development and motivation.

Research Collaboration

The aim of this initiative is to enable undergraduates to collaborate in research with experienced members of academia, both locally and internationally, and also with graduate students who need a hand on their work. As a start, this project will be promoted among the undergraduates by partnering up with research-based workshops that will be conducted in both public and private universities in collaboration with IEEE Student Branches. Thereafter, the project will create a platform for interested undergraduates to connect with researchers and carry out their work. While encouraging students to focus on their studies and academics, they will be exposed to the emerging fields in the industry where there is a huge demand. Some of such emerging fields are Bioinformatics, Biomedical Engineering, Genetic Engineering, Marine Biology, Aeronautic Engineering, Nanotechnology, Telecommunication Engineering, Mechatronics, Psychometrics, Econometrics, Artificial Intelligence, Landscape Architecture, Town and Country Planning and Fashion Designing.

Through these two approaches, SLInspire sets an agenda for the empowerment of youth of Sri Lanka from different parts of the country which will be the foundation to catalyze the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) #4 Quality Education and #1 No Poverty. Through SLInspire we are determined to let the students become aware of their skill sets to choose the best option in their career paths. This will pave the way to quality education and equal opportunities for everyone, ensuring that no opportunities are lost due to economic situations.