BARRICK Lumwana Mining Company (LMC) has donated 126 desktop computers to schools in Solwezi and Kalumbila districts of North-Western Province and 12 server-class computers to the Copperbelt University worth US$15,000 to roll out effective utilisation of various applications and information technology and communications consultancy.
Barrick Gold Corporation director of operations, Brian Grebenc, said the global mining company had noted numerous challenges and difficulties local schools continued to face in delivering high quality education and decided to make a worthwhile contribution in form of computers.
In a speech read for him by Lumwana Mine information technology superintendent, Masialeti Masialeti, during the official handover ceremony of the computers at Lumwana Premier Resort on Friday, Mr Grebenc said he was glad that the mine was making a contribution towards ensuring a brighter future for the students.
He was pleased that the workstations were being donated to several schools in chiefdoms of Senior Chief Mukumbi, Chief Mumena and Chief Matebo and to the Copperbelt University and hoped the beneficiaries would sustain and improve academic performance while bridging the digital divide.
“In order to improve performance in class, we need to ensure that we enhance the capacity of our teachers and lecturers. We must recognise that computers alone are not magic and neither should they replace chalk and black boards, but they should and can be used as a tool to aid learning,” Mr Grebenc said.
He added that it was equally pertinent that teachers acquired quality and professional training to harness and effectively utilise computers and urged the district education board and the Copperbelt University to consider enhancing computer literacy among members of staff.
Mr Grebenc said in an information age, knowledge and effective use of computers along with sound education would be the cornerstone of a vibrant and modern society. “This is why our teachers and lecturers are absolutely critical to the future of the economy.”
And Copperbelt University Vice-Chancellor Naison Ngoma said the donation of server-class computers would help the institution effectively deliver ICT consultancy assignments. In a speech read for him by the university’s director of information and communications technology, Hastings Libati, Professor Ngoma revealed that CBU had so far been contracted to develop software systems for organisations such as the Zambia Institute of Banking and Financial Services, National Water and Sanitation Company and the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
He said consultancy helps CBU boost its coffers to supplement Government support and to keep its motto “Knowledge and Service” relevant.
Prof Ngoma said the server-class computers would help provide more storage capacity for various services, improve back-ups to enhance the security of the university systems and assist the operations of analytical equipment such as the scanning electron microscope, gas chromatography and the atomic absorption spectroscopy.
Solwezi acting district commissioner Chipawa Chipawa said computers have revolutionalised much of modern life and learning how to use them in school was extremely important.
“Children learn the ins and outs of computers at an early age. Although there are a few disadvantages that computers provide, the numerous advantages to having computers in schools outweigh these few concerns,” Mr Chipawa said. – Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.