Secondary Schools to Be Networked in Bostwana

Computing

About 100 secondary schools will at the beginning of next term be linked together through the computerised school Internet connectivity project.

This was revealed through a Savingram circulated to all the 235 secondary schools Head teachers in the country.

Director of Secondary Education, Bore Kgokgwe, stated in the Savingram that some preparatory work of provision of requisite communications infrastructure by Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) was completed in July this year.

The Savingram stated that the tendering process for the connectivity project covering all the 235 secondary schools was now complete. The tender according to Kgokgwe, has been awarded to Dimension Data Botswana and only the first 100 priority schools were expected to commence at the beginning of term 3 in September and be completed this December.

The connection of the remaining 135 schools, including the new Goodhope Senior Secondary School and Kauxwi Secondary School, was expected to be completed by July next year.

"Now that the tender for the supply of internet connectivity has been awarded to Dimension Data, its staff has become part of our School Connectivity Project Implementation Team together with Computer Lab Administrators at every schools and the Ministry of Education" said Kgokgwe, further revealing that "from next month until completion of the project the two lab administrators in a school are expected to work cooperatively with the rest of the team to facilitate successful implementation of the project at the school, including training."

The last deliverable for the project was on-site training on functionality of the newly supplied connectivity hardware. The hands-on training session with a Training Manual, he said, would be provided by Dimension Data staff to two lab administrators and two other relevant staff members of the school's choice.

He said the choice should be made paying attention to localisation and gender balance policies.

The school heads were urged to insist on using their computer Lab Logbooks to keep track of other service providers and the rest of the team members from outside the school. School's supplies officers have also been urged to be involved at all times to keep an up to date inventory of computer lab supplies.

He said after installation, Dimension Data would provide 12-month service and maintenance of all their Internet connection equipment in the computer labs, including the aircons and equipment in the server room. "This is done to ensure that connectivity equipment is fully functional before the supplier leaves the site."

On security and satellite dishes, Kgokgwe said the equipment supplied during this project implementation comprises the latest attractive technology in the IT market, and hence it deserved a good measure of security.

"It is needful to provide security alarm, burglar bars and window blinds around the lab premises. For those schools with connection via ground installed satellite dishes, there is need for provision of security fence around the dish with a lockable gate and sealed with chicken mesh on top."

Each of the 110 secondary schools would receive two computers. The remaining 125 schools would be provided with PCs, hopefully before the end of October 2007. The IT unit is currently involved in the data cabling for administration blocks in these schools and the process is also at the tendering stage.

(Source: The Voice)