Under this definition Urban sector shows the highest computer literacy rate (45.4%) among residential sectors. The computer literacy rate for the Rural and Estate sectors are 30.7% and 12.7% respectively. According to the provinces, the highest level of computer literacy is reported from the Western province (45.2%) and the lowest computer literacy is reported from the Northern province (18.0%) (Department of Census and Statistics – Sri Lanka, 2020).
According to the literacy rate, Sri Lanka shows around 92% overall rate (Sri Lanka Literacy Rate 1981-2021, 2021) even though some parts of the education are developing. Further, free education is a reason for this high level of literacy level in Sri Lanka. But there is an unhappiest spread of education in rural areas. That can be described under rural-urban disparity. According to (Anulawathie Menike, 2015), Most of the people who have gained primary education belong to the age group of 55 – 60 or more in rural areas. The reason for this situation is they were unable to enjoy the free education benefits as they have been born much before the introduction of free education. Further, it states, that a lot of undergraduates are from urban areas and there are only a few from rural areas. That 92% shows a high literacy level but there is a sharp difference between literacy levels in rural and urban areas. That has clearly stated that, if someone who lives in a rural area needs to study higher education, that person needs to go to urban areas such as Colombo to get that higher education facility. Because Colombo city is a place where all types of educational facilities are available (Anulawathie Menike, 2015).
Southeastern University’s research also describes the real situation in Sri Lanka. The 4G connection is required to get the best online delivery. Students in many rural areas faced several difficulties in getting 4G connectivity. According to (Bandusiri, 2020) a statistical report from TRCSL describes how several mobile phones have spread throughout Sri Lanka. Further, we know that our country is not fully covered even with 3G. In the absence of stable internet connectivity, it was tough to engage in relentless online teaching and learning activities. When the speed of internet connectivity was meager, teaching and learning activities were interrupted. That drives students into frustration and desperation. It is further discussed in (Rameez et al., 2020) that, when students were engaged in learning activities using the internet, it was only possible to gain clarity on theoretical matters, but it was so difficult to gain practical or experimental knowledge. According to the real events from Sri Lanka, there are a lot of students in rural areas who have traveled so far and climbed top of the trees to catch signals to download online lessons sent to them by their teachers. Not everyone has mobiles or laptops, with four or five children sharing one device. (Aljazeera, 2021)