PALAPYE: The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) held a graduation ceremony for 294 grandaunts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) this week.
These were the graduates of the programme undertaken by BIUST in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) to train teachers and school administrators in ICT.
Through the programme, the teachers and administrators who have little or no computer skills are equipped with basic ICT skills and knowledge.
Initially, the programme served to improve ICT literacy for teachers in the central region, but through the Botswana Schools ICT Association it has grown and it is now reaching other regions across the country.
The target of the programme is to reach to at least 15 teachers in each school in all the regions.
Including the 294 new graduates, 765 teachers and administrators from both private and government schools have benefited from the programme thus far.
BIUST vice-chancellor professor Otlogetswe Totolo stated that this is the University’s contribution to transforming the education sector.
He said through the collaboration the University is fulfilling its mandate of working closely with the private sector to meet emerging skills needs of the industry.
Totolo said ICT is seen as an important catalyst and accelerator for development. He said arming teachers and school administrators with ICT would contribute in improving efficiency and enhancing the day-to-day running of the schools.
He said the education and training sector is mainly responsible for producing skilled human resources required by industries as well as citizens who can participate in building a well-governed society, hence the need to keep equipping the sector with new skills.
“I am very delighted that BIUST is making
Totolo said ICT could contribute to widening access to education, improving education management and addressing issues of quality and relevance of the education system.
He said it would not automatically make changes, but it is an enabler with great potential that would make great changes when put to good use. The focus, he said, must remain in addressing educational challenges, objectives and priorities.
Mmamosetsana Maposa of MoBE said the support from BIUST is timely, as the ministry has embarked on a nationwide ICT infrastructure development.
She said the initiative would help improve the quality of education and consequently help the nation produce the 21st century learners that are ready for global competition.
Duncan Pie of Dimension Data shared similar sentiments as Maposa. He said the programme compliment the infrastructure roll out that’s ongoing across the country.
He said this will lead to better curriculum delivery methods and overall improvement of our basic education quality, which is a requisite for quality tertiary academic and research attainment.
“This is the spirit of progressiveness that we need as a country. With the knowledge we expect great efficiency in our curriculum administration and delivery,” he said.
“We have been struggling with results lately and we expect that in the next few years, this good initiative will bring better results,” he said.