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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Local universities can provide only 2000 IT experts - Susil

The Island

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Although the country’s annual need for information technology experts is between 4,000 and 5,000, the present university system is able to produce only 2,000, Petroleum Resources Minister Susil Premajayantha said.

The General Secretary of the governing coalition said that country’s development has been severely affected by the lack of IT professionals.

"We have to employ foreign IT experts in all fields because of the severe shortage of local experts," he said adding that it was a loss for the country.

Sri Lanka’s annual petroleum related businesses amounted to over US$ 3 million, but there were no IT experts to handle it effectively, he said.

The government, he said had introduced IT as a subject in school from 2000 to upgrade the industry and had also established two IT teacher training colleges two years ago to train teachers in the subject, he said.

Premajayantha said that the two IT teacher training colleges produce 300 teacher annually. He added that mini laptops were introduced for the use of school children country wide two years ago when he was the education minister.

"We were able to increase the IT literacy rate of the country from 28 per cent to 50 during the last five years," Premajayantha said adding the government expects to increase it to 75 per cent within the next five years.