The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) has signed the loan agreement to provide concessional loan for ‘Establishment of ICT Hub for Secondary Education’ Project. The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Finance on November 5 with the participation of Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance; M. N. Ranasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Education; and Daekyoo Park, Country Director of Colombo Representative Office of Korea Eximbank.
Through this loan agreement, Korea Eximbank has committed EDCF concessional loan of USD 30.1 Million with the interest rate of 0.15% and 40-years repayment period including 10-years of grace period.
The proposed project covers an island wide plan, targeting national, provincial and zonal level ICT education. National Content Development Centre (NCDC) and two Provincial ICT Education Centres (PICTECs) in Eastern and Southern provinces will be newly built under the project.
In addition, to make the ICT hub more sustainable, capacity building programs for government officials and consultation on content development and e-Learning will be provided.
Today the urban population of Sri Lanka records a computer literacy level of 39.2% while computer literacy in rural areas and estates are at a considerably lower 25.5% and 9% respectively.
This phenomenon has become a hindrance to realizing Sri Lanka’s development priority of moving towards a digital economy. In this context, when completed, this project will provide not only a strong foundation to realize a digital economy and a knowledge-based society but also ICT savvy labour force for labour market to boost Sri Lankan economy.
The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) provides Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans through EDCF (Economic Development Cooperation Fund) for international development and cooperation. The bank provided its first ODA loan for the rehabilitation of the Colombo-Galle road (A2) in 1990. As of now, Korea Eximbank, entrusted by the Korean government with the EDCF, has approved USD 891 Million for 31 development projects in Sri Lanka.