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Access to internet key to quality education, economic growth

By Lesnat Kenan

Lilongwe, May 22: Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority – MACRA Information Technology (IT) Manager, Gabriel Ali, has highlighted the importance of access to internet in schools saying it is key to quality education and fostering economic growth in Malawi.

He made the remarks Wednesday at Mkomachi Secondary School in Lilongwe during the Connect-a-School project ground breaking ceremony.

According to Ali the project involves construction of 75 ICT laboratories in 75 constituencies across the country to ensure equal access to technology by reducing disparities between urban and rural areas.

The project also aims to ensure that students from all backgrounds have equal opportunity to benefit from digital learning tools.

“As you are all aware that technology is going at an advanced stage, there is need for schools, especially in rural areas, to have access to modern technology where they will access educational resources including e-books, online courses and interactive learning materials.

“We thought it wise to construct computer laboratories in phases and this is phase one,” he said.

The computer laboratories will also help farmers to access internet in schools as they are open to the public.

Ali said farmers will be able to do research on agriculture on where to sell their produce and how much their colleagues are selling across the globe which will foster economic growth in the country.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Lilongwe City Centre, Alfred Jiya, said his constituents, students and teachers will benefit as the project will uplift not only an area but also the whole nation in technological innovation.

“Access to internet will make it easy for the community to have access to ICT equipment. The lessons through e-learning to students will be remarkable as they will learn what other students are learning in advanced countries,” said Jiya.

He said the advancement of the project within a specific time will uplift people’s lifestyles in the country which is one of the key agendas of the Malawi 2063.

Head Teacher for Mkomachi Secondary School, Rose Liabunya, expressed gratitude to MACRA for bringing the development to the school saying it will not only help students but also teachers to have access to internet and create more engaging and interactive lessons that will help improve student engagement and understanding as well as improving quality education in the country.

Mkomachi Secondary Schools is one of the beneficiaries of the Connect-a-School project.

Liabunya said her school will safeguard the equipment by ensuring safety and security at all times.

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