With IT education as its prime objective, Singapore Informatics (SICI) is committed to preserving authenticity throughout its progressive fields of study with its partner Universities.
By Sonali Kadurugamuwa
SICI celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2009. They have been accepted as a quality education centre, among other institutions in the IT sector for education, in Sri Lanka.
The course material and final examinations of all academic programmes are set and marked in Singapore and moderated in the UK by renowned academics. The lecturers in Sri Lanka are only facilitating the delivery of programmes for the students. “The quality of education is guaranteed at Singapore Informatics unlike at other institutes which allow local lecturers to set and mark examination papers, thus creating biases. If a lecturer has 10 topics to cover for a module and he is not able to, he will only question you on the topics that he has completed and not the others. At SICI, lecturers have to cover all the topics for every module because the examinations are set and marked overseas,” says Boshan Dayaratne, General Manager and Director of SICI. This type of control is implemented to secure quality and fairness to all.
Speaking of the challenges faced as a growing educational facility in IT and Business, Dayaratne observes a large paradigm shift in this area of education. He sees numerous possibilities of school leavers joining higher education institutes that compromise the quality of education for reasons of profitability. He goes on to explain, that with the current economic conditions, most businesses are not as lucrative as they used to be, hence, find the IT and Business education field as one that is lucrative. “In the case of SICI, we will not compromise our quality even though we plan to expand our operations in Sri Lanka. We have not bound ourselves to advertising and marketing like other organisations have, thus maintaining the quality of our education.” He also stresses that the location of an institution plays an important part in reaching out to the public. “Our current location has posed a challenge, therefore, we have allocated a modern building for the sole use of our institution to which we will be moving into very soon.”
Talking about the programmes offered at SICI which also cater to busy professionals, Dayaratne says, “We offer Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Honours Degrees, Post Graduate Diplomas and Masters Degrees awarded by universities and awarding bodies. The final year of the honours degree programmes are uniquely delivered through blended learning which comprise of traditional face to face class room lectures and online lectures with shared white board and conferencing facilities. The online lectures are conducted by experienced academics in Singapore and by the academics of the University of Portsmouth, UK.” SICI is the only institute offering Diploma and Advanced Diploma programmes in Critical Network Protection and Ethical Hacking which leads to the final year of the Networking honours degree conducted by Oxford Brookes University in the UK and Singapore. Students of SICI-Sri Lanka also have the advantage of pursuing their course of study overseas at Informatics Singapore Campus, University of Portsmouth (UK), University of Wales(UK), Oxford Brookes University(UK) and other parntner Universities in the UK, Australia and the USA, after completing the required term locally.
“We focus on a corporate curriculm which is designed to produce highly employable professionals. In addition to our industrially focused academic programmes, the SICI Corporate Centre for excellence which was priviously known as Professional Skills Development Centre has pioneered many industrial training programmes leading to vendor certification such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Forensic Hacking Investigator (CFHI) by the E C Council and Project Management Professional (PMP) by the the Institue of Project Management, USA. The CEH programme provides practical training on hacking systems in order to discover vulnerabilities. The CFHI programme trains you to perform investigations regarding cyber crime. If a company came to us and said that they needed training for their executive employees, we will be able to facilitate them. We have the right to develop our own customised programmes and issue accredited certifications for them,” he explained.
“We will not be moving forward only as an academic based institution but also a training based one where we will cater to the needs of the corporate sector.” Dayaratne further explained SICI will organise an Academic Council which would advise the institution on creating sylabi that conforms to the requirements of the corporate sector. Furthermore, SICI will be establishing a Specialist Industrial Council which will comprise of corporate sector heads in order to advise the institute regarding the status of the job market . These two Councils would work hand in hand to prepare the programmes of study at SICI on what is necessary and up to date in the job market.
Concluding, Dayaratne had this to say, “What you learn in your books is not something you can always apply within a practical working environment. That is why SICI promotes industrially oriented training with the backing of industrial giants.”