Fulfilling the rural child's ICT dream

For many learners in rural areas, it remains a dream to acquire information and communication technology (ICT) skills.

25 June 2020 | Education

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU



The information ministry has commenced with a free basic computer literacy programme in Kavango East, aimed at creating a platform for previously disadvantaged people to acquire computer skills.

According to the ministry's Kavango East head, Menette Hiyavali, who was speaking at the launch of the initiative in Rundu, the programme was necessitated by the high number of youth, especially in rural areas, who do not have access to computers and reside in areas with no network coverage. Hiyavali said for many learners in rural areas, it remains a dream to acquire information and communication technology (ICT) skills.

“Digital and ICT literacy remains a dream for learners in rural communities due to the lack of network coverage and provision of internet and computers in some, if not most, rural and some urban schools,” Hiyavali said.



Free classes

“The ministry will provide these classes for free. The classes are aimed at empowering the youth in the region with basic computer education, which will play an increasingly important role in the socio-economic growth of the country. “With this in mind, and with limited resources, the ministry created a platform to meet the ministry of education a quarter of the way by providing ongoing classes,” Hiyavali said. The classes span three months per session, she said, with two groups divided by age.

The first group is for those aged 12 to 18, while the other is for those aged between 19 and 35, she added.



Vital tool

However, during the coronavirus pandemic, only the second group, aged 18 and above, will be considered.

She also said the ministry will in due course move these classes to different constituencies so that they cater to the entire region.

Also speaking at the launch was Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo, who described ICT as vital in achieving national development goals.

“ICT is a vital tool in achieving our main national priorities of economic growth and development towards poverty eradication and shared prosperity for all,” he said.



Inclusive society

“By offering this training programme, you are aligning yourself with our national plans.”

“This training is imperative as it is going to contribute towards the goal of leveraging ICT to unlock economic opportunities for an inclusive society,” he said.

Wakudumo called on those who will be selected to participate in the programme to capitalise on the opportunity for the realisation of an ICT-smart nation.

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