Information and communication technology has brought profound changes to almost all aspects of
our lives in recent years. It has transformed activities as basic as how we work, communicate with
each other, treat illnesses, travel, shop and enjoy our leisure time. The pace of change shows no sign
of slowing: indeed, the development of ICT and its applications to areas such as the integration of
media, are continuing at even faster rates than heretofore. In a relatively short period of time, ICT
skills have become as fundamental to living a full life as being able to read, write and compute.
Sri Lanka has been a leading player in the development of the ICT industry. We have been a leading
exporter of ICT hardware and software, and many of the key businesses in the industry have
important bases here. Like other countries, we have also recognised that if our young people are to
live full lives in a world transformed by ICT, they need to have opportunities to acquire and develop
ICT skills from an early age. Since the late 2000s, we have made considerable investments in ICT
infrastructure in schools, and in training for teachers and other professionals. Until now, little
national research evidence has been published on the impact that the new technologies have had
on schools and especially on teaching and learning. This report examines the extent to which ICT
has been used in schools at both primary and post-primary levels and, more importantly, assesses
the impact that ICT has had on teaching and learning, including the ways in which ICT is used to
support the learning of students with special educational needs.
The evaluation shows that while much progress has been achieved in the roll-out of ICT in schools,
considerable challenges remain. The report presents findings and recommendations that will be of
interest to teachers, principals, school support services, curriculum developers and policy-makers. I
hope that it will inform debate and policy decisions on how we can ensure that young people have
the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to benefit from the opportunities presented by this
powerful technology in the years ahead.