Ghanzi — As the fourth industrial revolution is imminent, Botswana cannot afford to be just a net consumer of information and communications technology (ICT) products but rather be net producers of such, President of Botswana Schools ICT Association (BoSICTA),Mr Kobamelo Magampane has said.
Speaking at the BoSICTA national fair at Ghanzi Senior Secondary School recently, Mr Magampane said the greatest investment was to equip future generations with ICT skills.
Though he acknowledged strides made by the Ministry of Basic Education, he said the nation should strive to produce a 21st century learner, who can learn programming to solve any existing or emerging issues.
If afforded the opportunity to explore their ICT capabilities, he said, the young generation could be globally competitive.
Officiating at the event, district population development officer, Mr Thatayaone Maithamako said ICT had invaluable opportunities, which Botswana could not afford to forgo.
He said as per National Development Goal 9, innovation is one of crucial drivers of sustainable economic growth and development.
Mr Maithamako said there was a growing amount of research that aimed at bringing out the critical role of ICT in improving the socio-economic and political status of developing nations in general and Africa.
He challenged participants to explore the rich components of the ICT in Botswana and develop strategies to uncover issues within the particular input areas like tele-medicine, tele-education, tele-democracy or e-government, adding that nanotechnology was becoming relevant nowadays.
He also said innovative use of information technology provided low cost solutions that had gone a long way to support strategies in different areas and helped in advancing the developed world's economies.
Exploitation of ICT, Mr Maithamako said could ease challenges in education such as teacher/student ratio, reduce the bill of text books and there could be a fully-fledged automated classroom with the teacher conducting teaching while elsewhere.
He said e-commerce and easy marketing of good and services are some benefits brought by ICT.
For his part, Chief education officer, Mr Releseng Malefho stated that technology was now a lifestyle and had eased the learning process.
However, he cautioned against misuse of ICT, saying cybercrime should be shunned.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>