Nenasa Smart Schools

The Nenasa Smart School initiative, funded by the Dialog Foundation, commenced in 2017 with the aim to digitally transform the education landscape and create an ecosystem within schools in Sri Lanka. When the first phase of the project was sunsetted in April 2021 it had on-boarded 153 schools from the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Western Provinces. This initiative was executed by Headstart (Pvt) Ltd. under the guidance of the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with the respective provincial departments of education. At the outset, train-the-trainer programmes were conducted for a few selected teachers to become ambassador teachers who would eventually act as catalysts initiating the digital transformation process within their schools. The ambassador teachers were then tasked with imparting their skills and knowledge to the other teachers within their respective schools, thereby creating a smart environment

They were then expected to share their knowledge and guide students and colleagues in their respective schools to achieve ‘smart schools KPIs’. The project, commenced in November 2017, involved 100 schools selected from the Western and Southern Provinces. Fifty-three more schools were added from Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces in 2018, while continuing the handholding of the initial 100 schools. The project underwent continuous improvement based on learnings and feedback received and was subject to a fully-fledged study conducted by Nielson, which showed the project to have been highly effective in inducing the digital teaching-learning skills and attitudes in both teachers and students alike. 

Having identified the critical success factors of the programme while also taking the current education landscape and the effects of the covid-19 pandemic into consideration, Dialog and the State Ministry of Education are currently exploring the means of expanding the programme to reach teachers island-wide.

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