TECHNOLOGY : Gov’t to make available 4,000 phones for emergency use
|Mobile phones|| |
The government will, before the end of the year, procure some 4,000 specialised cell phones for emergency response purposes.
The phones will be distributed to personnel of organisations such as the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ghana Ambulance Service, the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana National Fire Service.
Communications Minister, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, made this disclosure at the inauguration of a national ‘School Connectivity Project’ at Biriwa in the Central Region.
Under the project, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centres have been provided for all the 37 national vocational training institutes countrywide.
Valued at GH¢75,000 for each institute, the ICT centre project was funded by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC). The objective is to make all vocational trainees ICT proficient before they graduate.
The GIFEC was established in 2004 as an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications to facilitate the spread of ICT use in rural Ghana, promote research and the reading culture, train rural schoolchildren and teachers in the use of ICT and empower rural communities by providing access to information to help increase direct participation in development and decision-making processes at local and national levels.
Inaugurating the project at the Biriwa National Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Institute, Iddrisu said in response to the need to capture birth and death data, the government would, next year, roll out a programme that would promote the use of mobile phones to capture birth and death data.
That, he observed, would contribute to the collection of data needed for planning the country’s development.
Mr Iddrisu stated that following the 2006 educational reform, ICT must be an integral part of the country’s educational curriculum.
“ICT holds the key to the future and, therefore, any student graduating from school without ICT skills will remain uncompetitive on the job market,” he added.
In that regard, he said “the government is dedicated to closing the digital divide in technologically deprived communities throughout the country”.
Mr Iddrisu said as part of the measure, the GIFEC would construct 20 telecom masts in communities where armed robbers take advantage of communication challenges to commit crime.
The Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mr E.T. Mensah, for his part, urged the students to take advantage of the facility to acquire knowledge that would be relevant to them and the job market.
He observed that the realisation now was that students were not trained adequately for the workplace, even though several vacancies existed and the challenge had been to find qualified people to fill them.
The Administrator of the GIFEC, Mr Kofi Attor, added his voice to the need for the students to use the facility to build upon their stock of knowledge.
He also urged the management of the institute to maintain the facility, so that it could benefit generations to come. Mr Attor expressed worry over the lackadaisical attitude adopted by some schools towards such facilities which made those facilities redundant within six months.
AYB / Daily Graphic