Young Computer Scientist Competition 2007

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We entered the YCS Competition for the first time in 2005. We learnt a lot with our win. We realised that English language, Internet facilities, knowledge in computer languages, etc. were limiting factors in entering such a competition and securing a win. One of the aims of the competition was to show that the field of IT offered ample opportunities for employment and what path we should take to benefit from them. Additionally, we gained a great deal from the lectures given by experts in the field. We did not enter the competition in 2006. We received Internet facilities in March 2007, and decided to compete this year. Although the children had some initial ideas, it was a problem to get the knowledge needed to develop them. We were able to get the assistance of Mr. Wataketiya, lecturer at the Peradeniya University. Although they had never met, Chamath and Sumedha got in touch with Mr. Wataketiya through the Internet and completed the project. On behalf of our institute, I offer our gratitude to Mr. Wataketiya. On this occasion, a number of schools and institutes from all over Sri Lanka had entered the competition. All awards were won by schools in Colombo, the exceptions being Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala and us. Foremost among them were Ananda College and Royal College in Colombo and Dharmapala Vidyalya, Pannipitiya.

(As a past student of Ananada College, one of the leading Buddhist Schools in Sri Lanka, I was happy that a student of my school won the first place. I was happier still that a student guided by me was being appreciated on the same stage. I wondered whether it was a twist of fate. I felt somewhat proud that I had been able to help a student from a remote under-priviledged village to climb on to the same stage. “I will guide our students to the First Prize next year”, I decided.) This win is a great encouragement to us. When compared with students of the privileged schools, we are mere midgets. The principals and the parents who accompanied the children of the privileged schools relished the win they had achieved. Yet, our two winners and another child and I were in a corner of the hall savouring a limitless delight.We proved for the second time that we could challenge even the schools in Colombo, and also that we are capable of doing a lot more.If not for the guidance of Dear Mr. Harin, LearnAid, Laksaviya and ICTA, we – Lakaruna – might have ceased to exist a long time back.

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