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Expert Urges Govt. to Make ICT Compulsory in Schools

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fabian tarpael, abuja

Mrs Getrude Kalu, an ICT expert has called on the Federal Government to make Information Communication Technology a compulsory subject and course in schools. Kalu made the call in Abuja in an interview with the newsmen yesterday.

“The world today has gone far in ICT so much so that in developed countries children are developing robots that can perform simple tasks.’’ She said that for Nigeria to join the global train in ICT, government should invest in the provision of ICT tools for schools to equip them.

“When this is done even the primary school pupils will be able to operate a computer system and use it to solve simple problems.

“When we start at that age to teach them technology, we will get their interest stimulated and they will also be fascinated by what they make happen, so ICT infrastructure at the primary school level is very key.

“We should develop what we call smart schools, smart cities and villages so that from primary five, a child has access to ICT infrastructure in terms of internet access, computers or laptops.

“If we can focus on that, change the curriculum in such a way that they will be taught at that level then we are on way toward meeting what is called the global standard.

“If government does this and put the right infrastructure and power is fixed then there will be no holding back as we will get there.’’

Speaking on the feasibility of the proposed `smart city’ initiative for the country by Mr Adebayo Shittu the Minister of Communications, Kalu said “it is possible only if the government will put necessary infrastructure in place.’’

“Most cities in the world are going the smart way; they use ICT to manage nearly everything in their environment talk of water, mobility, electricity and so on.

“But it all starts with building the right mindset, starting with the children, putting the right systems in place and then putting the right infrastructure on ground.

“So it is possible if the government is really serious, all things are possible if government sets its priorities right, the priority today in global trend is innovation, especially in ICT.

“Government must look at key issues in our environment like security, access, affordability and availability of the internet to all citizens before we can create such cities.’’

The minister of communications at a forum on Tuesday said the ministry was planning to hold a summit on smart cities.

He said it would be a platform where all stakeholders in the ICT sector would come together to share experience and bring ideas on how infrastructure and innovation could be linked to make Nigerian cities more efficient, safer and conducive for all citizens.

The summit with theme: “Leveraging on solutions to improve efficiency of cities’’, will take a critical look at the level of preparedness and solutions necessary for a sustainable smart cities initiative for the country.

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