ICT development is Sub Saharan African countries continues to be hampered by poor planning. Up to now, some countries do not have National ICT policies and little is being done to address this problem. The political authorities, who generally are not ICT savvy, are responsible for all this mess. A very sad development in Namibia has prompted me to make this post.
The recent issue of Balancing Act reports that the bulk of a N$9 million consignment of computer equipment bought by the country’s Ministry of Education early last year for distribution to 40 schools has not yet reached its intended destinations.These computers have been kept in storage at the Ministry’s recently established National Education Technology Service and Support Centre (Netts) in Windhoek because of lack of proper infrastructure at the most schools that had been identified. Many of these schools do not have the necessary power points. There is also a concern about the lack of security at some of the schools.
One wonders why a whole government ministry failed to make proper plans before buying these computers. They should have made sure that the infrastructure at the intended schools is up to scratch before buying these computers. The other issue that I would like to ask the ministry officials to address is the issue of computer teachers. Do they have enough of them for each one of these identified schools? The danger is that these computers will experience a second phase of rotting right at the schools simply because there is no computer teacher around. There might be a need for some of the teachers, especially those who teach Science subjects, to undergo some intensive computer training. What about computer books for students? Are they available? These are some of the issues that came up in mind as I was writing this post but there could be a dozen other issues which the folks in Namibia’s Ministry of Education have to consider for the effective deployment and proper use of these computers. I hope the Namibian predicament will serve as a lesson for other countries in the region. Finally, I wish the Namibian government all the best in this project.