"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 >> Tonga.Online Stakeholders Update Jan/Feb 2010
Tonga.Online Stakeholders Update Jan/Feb 2010
Sunday, 02 May 2010 16:01

1.Introduction

The year started on a more promising note than 2009. The merger between Tonga Online and Basiliwizi Trust has advanced with a series of regularisation meetings being held by Kunzwana Trust represented by Penny Yon, AFZA represented by Peter Kuthan and Tonga Online staff. A series or deliverables were drawn up to ensure that the merger moves quickly and smoothly. Tonga online staff proceeded with business as usual.

2.Stakeholder Planning Meeting

A stakeholder meeting was held where the key objectives for the year 2010 were agreed. Representatives were invited to the Rest Camp from all ITCs and partner organisations. Partners from Sinazongwe in Zambia were also invited, Tonga On-air was also represented by Joshua Moyo and Maliko was represented by Louise Maanje.

The workshop agreed on the following objectives and timelines:

 Activity20102011
  123412
1Access to ICT/Support ITCsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
2Siabuwa Solar Power, ITC establishedx xxxxx
Opening
x x x
3Public Access Point in Binga Established xxxx xxx
4Binga Manjolo Wireless Cluster Establishedxxx xxxxxx
5Sinazongwe Radio Support  xxx  x
6Education Improved /ITC Conference x x x
7Special ICT Skills Trainingxxxxxx xx  
8Best ITC practice Manual review xxx
Printing
   xx
9BRDC Subcommittee S&Txxxxxx
10NGO Forum established/ Meetingxx xxxxx
11Local content/ media workshopsxxxxxxxx
12Festivals/Tonga craft & music exposure xx xx x
13Web Developmentxxxxxxxx
14Evaluation    xxxxx

3.Maintenance Training at Manjolo Primary School

Maintenance work continued at the Manjolo Primary School ITC.
ITC Statistics

Before Maintenance / After Maintenance

Total Number of PCs 8 / 8
Number of Working PCs 2 / 4
Number of Non working PCs 6 / 4


The other three computers require spares that currently are not available. These are: x3 small Hard Disk Drives. One of the PCs had all the inside cabling destroyed by rats during the school holidays when the computers were in a storeroom. This computer needs to be replaced.
The utilization of the ITC had reduced due to the reduction in the number of available working computers.

4.Training and Maintenance at Binga Primary School

Maintenance work was also carried out at Binga Primary School. Teachers were also trained to install Ubuntu and Add -On some programs to an Ubuntu installation. Four computers were all installed with Ubuntu 8:10.  The school needs 2 Monitors to increase the number of their PCs to Six.

Number Trained: 4
Number of Male: 1
Number of Female: 3

Before Maintenance / After Maintenance

Total Number of PCs 6 / 6
Number of Working PCs 2 / 6
Number of Non working PCs 4 / 0

5.Tonga Craft Marketing Database being developed

A CD based database for promoting Tonga Crafts is being developed. When ready this database will be uploaded to the internet.  This will enable buyers worldwide to be able to view and shop online for Tonga Crafts. This platform will enable grassroots producers to take part in today's technology through advertising and marketing on the internet. 
The database will clearly indicate the weight of crafts, location found, cultural value of the craft and local name/s. 
The sample database will be reviewed by relevant stakeholders before being launched. 

6.Science and Technology Subcommittee Resuscitated

 The science and technology subcommittee of the RDDC has been resuscitated. This S&T subcommittee is being chaired by the Ministry of Education. Members have been co-opted from various government departments and organisations. The S & T will draw up its agenda and review its objectives in a meeting to be held as soon as possible.

7.Lessons Learnt during this period

Teachers need consistent training in the use of FOSS. During this period that Tonga Online was experiencing financial challenges, Teachers in schools were also experiencing a lot of technical problems and the greatest was making the best out of Ubuntu.
Teachers have a bigger responsibility to meet the expectations of schools children, TO has a much bigger role that should go even beyond providing basic knowledge to Teachers. The current setup of ITCs is so basic that teachers and pupils are not getting the most from it. Schools need networked environments that can enable them to hare and simulate the most advanced environments.

8.Challenges

Sinazongwe Radio Support
Handover of AZFA Support to Tonga on Air Radio (Sinazongwe) was a challenge because TO could not travel earlier as had been envisioned. Arrangements have now been made for Joshua Moyo to either come to collect the money or send bank details that the money can be transferred to.


Internet
Internet connectivity at the office was at its worst slowing down all communication between the office and partners.


Power Cuts
The supply of electricity to ITCs like Tinde, Sianzyundu, Manjolo and Lusulu Secondary Schools was affected by district wide power failures. This affected scheduled maintenance activities in these areas.