MINISTER of Technology and Science Felix Mutati says this year alone, the government will re-train 3,500 teachers in information and communication technologies (ICT).
The minister notes that the government’s aim is to see all secondary schools in the country have access to the Internet.
Mutati was speaking at a ground-breaking event for the construction of the first-ever communication tower in Malekani area of Lukutu ward of Luwingu district, Northern Province yesterday.
The launch of the installation of a tower at Malekani, whose installation period is three months, has become one of the first out of the 150 communication towers which will be erected in phrase one.
Mutati reiterated the importance of learners in rural schools to not only learn the theoretical part of ICT, but equally the practical one, through access to the Internet and power supply.
To this end, a Paint Zambia digital campaign has been launched in rural areas, through the construction of 300 communication towers, by the end of this year, by the Ministry of Technology and Science.
The exercise will be executed in two phases, with each phase seeing the installation of 150 communication towers.
Mutati believes once that feat is attained, there will be superior quality of education, as even learners in rural schools will be exposed to technological advancement, through Internet accessibility.
“Education must go beyond reading and writing; our children must be able to do computer coding to safeguard their future,” Mutati said.
“Therefore, to achieve this, government will re-train 3,500 teachers in ICT this year alone, as our aim is to ensure that all secondary schools in Zambia are connected to the Internet.”
The minister noted that this year, the government wants to commission 300 communication towers in order to bring services closer to the people and, in turn, the people closer to the government.
“From the 2023 CDF, we are going to take out K3 million from every constituency, which will be given to the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to be added to their budget in connecting constituencies with electricity supply,” revealed Mutati.
Meanwhile, Luwingu district commissioner Chomba Chileshe thanked the government for moving in to install communication facilities, as teachers and health workers in the area are moving about 30 to 40 kilometre to access mobile phone network.
“The lack of electricity and Internet in schools has been a big challenge to our learners as they are unable to learn the practical part of ICT. Therefore, we are grateful for government’s initiative to help even those in rural areas. But despite receiving 381 new deployed teachers, the area still lacks ICT specialised teachers,” said Chileshe.
By Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba April 16, 2023