May 19, 2005 Comments Off on Temple telecentre
Gampaha, Sri Lanka
I also had a chance to visit an IDRC-funded Sarvodaya wireless telecentre (or telehut) project north of Colombo. This one was much more rural, a small village heading into the hills and with little infrastructure near by. The only public buildings in the village are the school, the library and the temple. Sarvodaya has decided to put computers in all three, and to connect them with wifi.
Schools and libraries are common places to find telecentres. Bhuddist temples are not. But, as Manju for ICTA explained to me when we met in Ottawa a while back, there is a long tradition in Sri Lanka of using temples as places of learning. And, probably more important, the local priest is really keen about computers.
The set up includes a main Internet receiver tower at the temple, which then rebroadcasts to the school and the library. Both the temple and school have desktop computers. The library will have a laptop that is taken away every night for security reasons.
In classic IDRC action research style, all of this will be studied from a community impact, gender and technical perspective to see what will happen. It’s very early days (we actually delivered the computer to the school while there) … but it will be interesting to see where this goes as it evolves.