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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has donated its 250th IT Lab to a school in Maharagama, reaching a milestone in the Bank’s flagship community initiative to take digital literacy to the grassroots in support of national development goals.
The latest beneficiary of this nationally-scaled programme is the 44-year-old President’s College in the Sri Jayewardenepura Education Zone, which has a student population of more than 3200. The fully-equipped and furnished IT Lab will greatly aid the GCE Advanced Level students following General Information Technology (GIT) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) subjects, as well as GCE Ordinary Level students learning ICT, the Bank said.
With this latest donation, the number of students benefitted by the 250 IT labs gifted by the bank to date is estimated to exceed 230,000. Notably, Commercial Bank provides assistance through its extensive branch network to maintain and upgrade these computer labs when necessary, to ensure that the facilities would benefit several batches of students.
The milestone IT Lab was formally declared open by Commercial Bank’s Chairman Professor Ananda Jayawardane accompanied by the Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sanath Manatunge, Director Raja Senanayake and Chief Financial Officer Mr Nandika Buddhipala. It was funded by the Bank’s CSR Trust under this long-running corporate social responsibility programme to elevate digital literacy rates in the country.
Commenting on the 250th IT lab donation, Commercial Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Sanath Manatunge said: “We have been consistently working towards nurturing a technologically savvy future generation, not just through donations of equipment but by investing in IT education training as well. While supporting the digital learning aspirations of students, our IT education initiatives are also aligned with the country’s Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for everyone.”
In the sphere of corporate social responsibility, Commercial Bank’s largest contribution is towards digital technology education in Sri Lanka. The Bank has donated IT labs across all 25 districts of Sri Lanka and most are in rural areas of the country. The Bank has also supported a project to set up 115 classrooms that focus on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. Additionally, the Bank was a key partner in the national Smart Schools initiative where 165 schools were equipped with digital learning facilities. The Bank’s “Sipnena” online portal contains digitized school curriculum content, complete with practical videos and presentations to facilitate easy learning for students.
Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 12 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 940 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.
Commercial Bank Chairman Prof. Ananda Jayawardane, Managing Director/CEO Mr Sanath Manatunge, Director Raja Senanayake, the school Principal Captain W Wasantha Kumara with staff and students of President's College Maharagama at the opening of the 250th IT Lab donated by the Bank.