2nd lead

Free kids computer parks said basis for e-society

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 November 2004, 10:29 GMT]
“Our objective is to spread computer literacy among the Tamil people. Our leader wants to create an e-society in the Tamil homeland. It is the foundation on which he plans to build an efficient e-government for our people. The best way to do it is to invest knowledge of Information Technology in our children. This is the idea that inspired the Free Kids Computer Parks (FKCP)”, Mr. S. Nalan, head of Students’ Organisation of Thamil Eelam, told TamilNet Sunday as he showed around the first FKCP in Kilinochchi.

Free Kids Computer Park

Free Kids Computer Park
President of London Kanakathurkai Amman Temple, Mr. S. Karunailingam, unveiling the nameboard of the Park
Free Kids Computer Park
Mr. Skandadeva lighting the lamp at the inauguration in Kilinochchi
Free Kids Computer Park
Mr. S.P Thamilchelvan starting the computer system
Free Kids Computer Park
Kilinochchi Free Kids Computer Park students
A Tamil expatriate from UK who considered the idea valuable has donated five million rupees (approx. 48540 USD) to build a Free Kids Computer Park in Mullaithivu.

“We intend to start Free Kids Computer Parks in every part of the northeast with assistance from expatriate Tamils who are committed to building our future on a strong IT foundation. IT literacy is a must in our society of we have to face the challenges of the future”, Mr. Nalan said.

Hundred and eighty children, mostly from underprivileged families, are studying on a three month course at the Free Kids Computer Park in Kilinochchi. They are taught basic computing and IT skills by specially trained teachers. The Kilinochchi FKCP has a multi media unit too. Children learn English with the aid of multi-media kits and watch useful documentaries and feature films in this unit with the assistance of a teacher.

“This is to ensure that the children do not go away with a mechanical, and hence barren, knowledge of information technology. The curriculum is intended to stimulate their creative abilities and inspire their imagination. We want to expose them to a comprehensive and fruitful IT experience”, one of the teachers at the Kilinochchi FKCP said, explaining to TamilNet the purpose of the multi media unit. The Kilinochchi Park plans to teach four batches of students annually. It was opened on 26 September this year.

The Students’ Organisation of Thamil Eelam put up the building for the Kilinochchi FKCP for 1.7 million rupees. Computers and multi-media equipment for the Park were donated by the London Kanaka Thurkai Amman Temple in London, UK. The temple funds the monthly operations costs of the Park. Few computers were donated by the Ratnathikam family in the US. The Kilinochci Free Kids Computer Park is jointly managed by Tamil Information Technology Association (TAITA) and Students Organisation of Thamil Eelam.

“Mr. Skandadeva Subramaniam from UK who saw the Kilinochchi Free Kids Computer Park was struck by the immense social value of the idea. Therefore he donated five million rupees personally to build a Park in Mullaithivu and to by buy equipment for it. Thanks to him we were able to start work on a second Park sooner than we expected”, Mr. Nalan said.

The foundation for the new FKCP was laid in Mullaithivu on 20 October by Mr. Skandadeva who has pledged to meet the monthly running costs of the institution once it is opened.

Mr. Nalan said that they intend to complete work on this Park and have it ready for opening by February 2005.

The Parks are primarily aimed at the grass roots, particularly families that cannot afford basic IT literacy for their children at home or school.

“We selected children for the Kilinochchi on the basis of aptitude tests and interviews from the town and its surrounding areas. There are more than two thousand children here who deserve education at the Park. But we are understaffed and under equipped. We are appealing to our expatriate community to invest in our future – in our children”, Mr. Nalan said. Free Kids Computer Park

External Links:
Sri Kanaka Thurkai: Shri Kanaka Thurkai Amman Trust
Website: Sri Kanaka Thurkai Amman Temple in UK


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