WINDHOEK - Kunene Region and Impalilia Island in Zambezi Region lag behind in ICT access and in terms of economic development essentials such as literacy, computer skills and higher income.
This is according to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information, Communication Technology and Innovation (ICT & I), which visited the Kunene, Erongo, Zambezi and Kavango regions between July 22 to August 4 and August 12 to 17 last year.
The committee, chaired by Faustina Caley, presented its findings to parliament last week.
According to the report, most government offices, schools, clinics and hospitals in the regions visited, especially in remote rural areas like Kunene and Impalilia Island, have little or entirely no access to means of communication or internet network connectivity.
“The Impalilia Island clinic in not connected to telephone, fax or does not have Wi-Fi connectivity and the network sometimes goes off for days, leaving the connectivity completely off with no other options to communicate,” reads the report by Caley. She said that furthermore the lack of IT capacity amongst schoolteachers and health professionals has a serious impact on service delivery.
“There is a serious need for training in ICT for teachers to facilitate teaching and learning – and also to introduce a specialised training for ICT teachers.”
Equally, she said, it is important to train nurses on computer skills especially for e-birth and e-health purposes.
Also, she said the shortage of medicines or faulty IT equipment at state hospitals and clinics poses a serious threat to the lives of patients.
She said the committee further observed that some hospitals and clinics, especially in Erongo and Kunene regions, lack ICT tools skills to enable them to provide better services, hence the need to implement the e-health system to all health facilities in all regions in order to enhance quality service delivery. “E-governance and IT services are also not fully decentralised to the regional levels thus delaying service delivery to the communities,” she said.
“Most libraries, resource centres and MPCCs (multipurpose community centres) are not adequately funded of capacitated and experience regular breakdowns of IT equipment,” she added.
She said vocational skills significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of the country, hence there is a need for these centres to be adequately funded in order to expand their curricula such as office administration for quality training and to increase their yearly intakes.
Caley furthermore says the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) regional office in Swakopmund is still using tapes-based cameras that are outdated and no longer compatible with new technology.
“Some of the equipment currently being used are so old that there are limited or no more spare parts in the market should they break down,” she added.
She said NBC plays a crucial role of informing and educating the nation, therefore, the corporation should ensure that it acquires modern equipment to be on par with new technology.
2019-06-17 11:12:45 2 months ago