MACRA to bridge digital gap in 75 schools – Capital Radio Malawi
17 July, 2024

MACRA to bridge digital gap in 75 schools

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) plans to construct state-of-the-art computer laboratories in 75 schools across the country to bridge the digital gap, as 6 million learners from government schools have no access to internet services.

MACRA’s Economic Regulations Manager, Linda Kambale said this on Friday during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Connect A School (CAS) project through the Universal Service Fund, at Zingwangwa Secondary School in Blantyre.

She said each laboratory would have a capacity of holding up to 60 computers.

Kambale said in the first phase, each laboratory would be provided with 20 computers and each school will be connected to the internet for three years.

“Previously, we have had ICT initiatives targeting rural masses, but these faced several shortcomings hence the adoption of this laboratory concept.

“In the first phase of this project, MACRA is constructing these laboratories in 75 schools, including 73 community day secondary schools, one national government secondary school, and one pilot primary school,” she said.

According to Kambale, the project aligns perfectly with government’s vision of providing students with the essential tools and skills needed to thrive in the digital era.

” This initiative does not only bridge the digital divide but fosters an inclusive and forward-thinking educational environment, thereby laying a robust foundation for Malawi’s socio-economic growth and ensuring that no child is left behind in the digital era,” she added.

Principal for Zingwangwa Secondary School, Steven Kungala expressed gratitude to MACRA for the timely and generous of the computer laboratory yet to be constructed at the school.

“The construction of this computer lab will enable our school to upgrade our makeshift computer lab thereby allowing students to have greater access to modern tools, resources, and opportunities that are essential in today’s digital age,” he said.

A representative of the students, Dudufye Chigombwa said she anticipates to use the internet to access information relevant to her studies and also explore various opportunities for career development.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Blantyre City South, Noel Lipipa hailed MACRA for the project saying he was excited to see the impact that the project would make to the school and communities at large.

He called for concerted efforts among the school authorities, communities, and students to properly manage the computer lab to ensure that it serves its intended purpose.

CAS project, the first of its kind in the country, will bring to life the National ICT Policy and align with the Malawi 2063, which is youth-centric and puts digitalization at the heart of the nation’s transformation.

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