Understanding the importance of minimising the impact COVID-19 has on the education of Lankan undergraduates, 99X Technology’s university outreach programme ‘Dotitude’ stepped in, conducting webinars for universities and higher education institutes across the country.
In a time where almost every industry and even simple daily activities have been disrupted and are struggling to enter the digital arena, the emergence of a pandemic has been no deterrent to the ‘Xians’, as the employees of 99X Technology call themselves. They’ve harnessed a method already second nature to them, thanks to years of development for European clients, and fine-tuned it to reach out to undergraduates across the country.
The online sessions commenced shortly after the Xians began working from home and have covered topics ranging from introductions to basic programming to soft skills development and CV writing. It has included topics highly geared to current times, such as webinars on ‘post-COVID challenges and opportunities’.
“We have always been dedicated to working closely and sharing our knowledge with Lankan academia and undergraduates. It has been inspiring to see that despite limitations faced, our employees continue to work together to share their skills with these students,” 99X Technology Senior Technical Lead and ‘Dotitude’ Manager Anura Adhikari said.
The 99X Technology university outreach programme ‘Dotitude’ has been in operation for nearly a decade and has reached out to over 50,000 undergraduates during this time through a multitude of activities. In the last year alone, the volunteer-based initiative reached out to over 3,500 undergraduates through collaborations with 12 universities and higher education institutes, and supported 15 research projects, among other activities.
With sometimes nearly 200 students joining per session, these webinars have been incredibly popular, especially during a time when studies have been disrupted for many. A popular online series has been one on ‘Quality Engineering’, originally conducted to the undergraduates of the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) and then made available online for public viewing. Topics covered within the series included ‘Continuous Testing’ by Aravinthan Ramraj, ‘Cypress’ by Maheesha Lunuwila and Chanaka Uduweriya, ‘Security Testing’ by Pranieth Chandrasekara and ‘Performance Testing’ by Chamath Didulanga.
PICK A COURSE launched to provide independent educational content hub
For individuals and students exploring educational pathways, especially those seeking information on higher education programmes or even for seasoned professionals to pursue dream careers, PICK A COURSE as Sri Lanka’s 1st and largest independent education hub was launched recently to transform learning and provide a launchpad towards education and career milestones.
PICK A COURSE is the country’s most advanced Independent Course Finder and Educational Content Provider with over 5,000 courses listed across 350 universities and institutes.
Commenting on the launch the Founder said, “PICK A COURSE began with the mission of empowering learners to make the most informed decision when it comes to their education and careers while simplifying the complex world of education to anyone who wants to get the best out of an investment in learning. From those who are just stepping into higher education to active job seekers and even seasoned professionals, we promise you nothing but the best way forward no matter where you are in life. We place learning at the center of our strategies as we firmly believe that educational ambitions should be unlimited in scope and reach. As an independent course finder and educational content hub, www.pickacourse.lk assures students and professionals they have come to the right place which creates new possibilities and learning opportunities for people by connecting them to the information they need to succeed in a changing world.”
PICK A COURSE offers a unique feature of comparing two courses based on important attributes such as course curriculum, duration, university etc. Depending on a student’s preference of education stream, the site offers an expansive course finder to help students gain information on courses which are offered in the country.
Students can select from a wide range of subjects such as Business Management and Specializations, Science, Technology, Engineering,Mathematics (STEM), Education, Psychology, Arts and Media, Law and Administration or Aesthetics (Performing Arts, Dancing, Music and Crafts).
PICK A COURSE also information on wide range of aesthetic subjects, providing individuals the opportunity to try something new or upskill in a recreational hobby they are already passionate about.
For students or professional who are seeking overseas study options, the site facilitates their dream by providing comparable information on education migration, qualification frameworks and approval processes in different countries.
To set individuals on the correct pathway, PICK A COURSE offers free personal consultations with industry experts from a wide range of sectors with proven track records and specialist knowledge to mentor individuals on the best choice of courses given their status and future aspirations.
PICK A COURSE also offers a range of free courses for individuals to develop their modern-day work-skills and necessary professional skills. These are available on PICK A COURSE’s Youtube and TikTok platforms and since the site launched two weeks ago has already attracted a considerable audience.
Additionally, free resources such as advice from renowned opinion leaders as well as experts from corporate and educational backgrounds will be available via PICK A COURSE’s social media platforms and blog.
No fee required for selfies at Port City
Charges applicable for filming of personal ceremonies and commercial filming
Port City Colombo wishes to inform the public that there is no truth in social media posts alleging that the public needs to pay a fee for personal selfies or videos taken at Port City.
However, a payment structure was introduced for personal events, professional and/or commercial filming and photography due to the unprecedented number of such requests received from the public and private sector to use the newly opened Port City Marina Promenade. It has also been brought to our attention that such filming/photography was a hindrance, and violates the privacy of other visitors to the promenade.
Taking public safety and ongoing construction in to consideration, this payment structure and dedicated time periods were introduced for anyone wishing to engage in such professional filming or photography at Port City to avoid hindrance to the public and provide a better service for those who require it. The Marina Promenade is open to the public from 9am to 6pm daily. Paid filming and photography can be carried out before 9am or other time period as requested.
We wish to emphasize that this is not applicable for those wishing to take personal pictures, videos, and selfies inside Port City using their personal phones or cameras. Also, reputed social or mainstream media stations can freely carry out filming/ photography for news or current affairs (non commercial purposes) inside Port City with prior approval from relevant departments.
Charges will only be applicable for filming/ photography of personal ceremonies, weddings, product or fashion promotions, music videos, advertisements or other types of commercial filming. Income received from these will be used for the maintenance of public spaces, lavatories and garbage clearing done by the Estate Management Company (EMC) which manages the public areas of Port City Colombo.
Areas of Port City such as the Marina, Golf Range, Beach Park and ATV Track are managed by private operators on a paid basis since they started operations.
Elevation in freight rates positively falls on Expolanka Holdings PLC
Expolanka Holdings PLC’s global logistics sector is generating outstanding earnings for the group due to the continuous rise in freight rates, according to a report by First Capital Research.
“Global air freight rates increased by 33.6%YoY to USD 4.49/kg in early Jan 2022 whereas the rate hit an all-time high of USD 5.36/kg in Dec 2021 during the festival season. Moreover, the global Ocean freight rates also elevated by 137.9%YoY to USD 9,167 per 40ft container in Jan 2022,” it said.
“USA total apparel imports are estimated to record a growth of 21.1%YoY to USD 77.7Bn in 2021 and is further expected to rise above the pre-pandemic level by 2023. As a result, EXPO has a great potential to expand its profitability since the revenue growth is mainly supported by the North American trade lanes. Being one of the preferred freight forwarders for apparel exporters, EXPO has recorded growth in earnings by 91.7%QoQ in 2QFY22,”
“EXPO is likely to continue to record strong earnings growth for 3QFY22 since 60% – 70% of the revenue is likely to generate from air freight. Moreover, due to supply-side constraints and delays in sea freight the air freight rate hike is not anticipated to reverse any time soon,” First Capital said.
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