"For the Tonga people like me, there is something deeply biblical about the word MULONGA, yet it is a modern story too. One of massive but unshared technology. One of plentiful water but perpetual drought."
Dominic Muntanga
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mulonga.net >> IT Centers >> Stakeholders Update September 2006
Stakeholders Update September 2006
Monday, 25 September 2006 00:00

Tonga.Online has taken steps forward following the review and strategic planning that was carried out in July for the further development of the ICT project in Binga District. Communication for the conduct of a feasibility study for ICT infrastructure development in Binga area is at an advanced stage with some key IT experts like Prof S B Mangena from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and AZFA involved.

All Headmasters of schools with computer equipment already at hand have been contacted through the Binga district education office for information about their situation regarding the establishment of fully fledged ITCs. These included Binga High, Binga Primary, Manjolo Secondary and Primary, Siachilaba Primary, Syanzyundu Secondary, Tinde, Pashu, Lubimbi and Lusulu High.

With the project facing another challenging phase, interviews for the advertised positions for qualified IT staff have been carried out. Technical and management training, and the development of services for continued income generation for the sustainability of the ITCs still remain a project priority.

ITCs Activities

The possibilities for the revival and improved internet connection were also assessed with Binga ITC that is now providing internet services again. The technical servicing of computers and revival of internet at Binga ITC by Uwe and the IT teachers was part of the technical training for the Binga Highschool IT teachers and it is our hope that internet services will now be sustainable.

The Kalai Foundation facilitated a vacation for all 58 students, 55 males and 3 females, that they are sponsoring at Binga High. The vacation class was taken by Mr B Z Siasweka who covered internet, word excel and scanning. A member of the Kalai Foundation, Mr Dominic Muntanga who is a former student of Binga High and now studying in the United States visited the Center during this period.

The two IT teachers at Binga High are taking all 750 students for computer lessons with a total work schedule of 13 hours per day for each teacher, running from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. This highlights a need for the responsible authorities to provide more IT teachers. Furthermore a total of 8 community members, 5 female and 3 male completed the basic computer training course.

Siachilaba primary is a school with a population of 796 pupils and 20 teachers. The IT trainer is only working with three grades, grade 5, 6 and 7, or a total of 120 pupils that the school time table has to accommodate. Three village members, all male and two teachers have been trained during this period of reporting.

The IT trainer visited also Sebungwe primary, 7km from Siachilaba primary and discussed the possibility of the school in taking some computer training. The headmaster promised to send the grade sevens for computer lessons after they finish writing their final exams.

The trainer also visited Chief Siachilaba at his homestead and asked him to encourage his secretary to come for computer lessons.

Due to the shortage of cartridges that the school is still fund raising for, computer students suggested that their certificates be printed from Binga ITC which they are prepared to pay for.

The Syanzyundu ITC printer that was recently taken to a Bulawayo technical company is reported to be beyond repair due to the manufacturer, Canon's settings. This leaves Syanzyundu ITC without a printer. Computer lessons continue as part of the school curriculum and training of community members was this month successful with 5 people. The teacher in-charge of computer science Mr E Mutale has visited Binga to request technical support for the center.

Music

The Twiimbilane studio this month initiated the establishment of links with the department of Music and Musicology at the Midlands State University in Gweru. It is hoped this link will see the Lecturers in this department visit Binga and facilitate a music workshop / lecture, while taking the chance to get a first hand experience of Tonga culture and further strengthen ties.

Tonga.online project extension to Sinazongwe / Zambia

Unfortunately the planned establishment of a community radio station at Sinazongwe basic School will be delayed into next year. AZFA's plans to bring two Austrian artists and radio activists, Ingo and Sandra with the equipment from Austria for installation and training of locals failed temporarily due to time schedules. The community had made all the necessary preparations for the development, including accommodation for the visitors and the identification of trainees. Sorry for any inconvenience caused, but hopes are still flying high that the plan will materialize in 2007.

Efforts are still being made by partners to find a suitable printer for Sinazongwe ITC.

Project expansion to incorporate schools in Maamba and regarding internet connectivity on the Zambian side is being looked at with the development of new proposals in joint efforts with HIVOS.

Computer lessons with students and training of community members is ongoing with a good participation of youths and the community leaders at Sinazongwe Basic School. Two students, one from Kanishas Boys High and a girl from Kalomo High including a trainee teacher, a lady working with Sinazongwe local court and a lady studying with the Fisheries department received their basic computer training.

On-going Training

The following are the Basic Computer training statistics of community members for the month of September. In addition, school children at all ITC sites continued computer lessons following their ongoing time table.

Male Female Total
Binga ITC 3 5 8
Siachilaba ITC 3 0 3
Syanzyundu ITC 2 3 5
Sinazongwe ITC 2 3 5

Tonga.Online is determined to work with the relevant Local Government Departments and all other stakeholders, in order to develop sustainable access to communication and information technology for the communities.

We thank you for your continued support.
MULONGEZEGWE Be blessed.

Compiled by
David Mungombe
Tonga.Online Project Coordinator Binga

David Mungombe
Coordinator-tonga.online project
c/o Binga High School, P Bag 5722, Binga,
Tel / fax: ++263-15-573
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