This issue of telecentres in Malawi is very much on my heart. As a tech enthusiast, I would like to witness the ubiquitous establishment of telecentres across the country. People must have access to information. My life these days has become so Internet centered. A great degree of change has taken place in my life since the day I got introduced to the Internet. If the Malawian masses can be introduced to the same, our country will never be the same.
I would like to ask MACRA and the Malawi government to involve University students in the development of telecentres. This can be done by, first of all, coming up with agreements with the two public Universities (UNIMA and MZUNI). Under these agreements, University students would be doing their vacation work in different places of the country under the telecentre project. Students would be involved in the technical aspects of telecentre development and maintenance. Students can also be involved in running of basic ICT training for the local masses, whose literacy level is generally low. Involving students in telecentre development and management has the following advantages:
- Students will attain a practical experience in an ICT working environment. This is quite crucial these days because most companies do not like giving students vacation jobs due to problems with their cash flow.
- Students will be able to make some money for themselves. I do not have to write more on this one. Everyone needs money:)
- Since students will be working in their home areas, they will act as role models to their own people. Youngsters will appreciate the importance of working hard in class when they see that their home boys and girls are ICT savvy.
- More work will be done because of the increased workforce.
- Because students are future industry leaders, further development of these telecentres will be easy.