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Zambian govt to roll out US$20-million ICT focused programme

Zambian govt to roll out US-million ICT focused programme.

Zambia's Ministry of General Education has confirmed the government's intention to float a tender for the supply of 3,000 computers for schools. The PC procurement tender forms part of the first phase of a US$20-million programme to ensure ICT examinations proceed without disruption.

Spokesman Hillary Chipango said the procurement of computers is being done in collaboration with the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) and the tender will be managed by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority.

The successful bidder is expected to deliver the computers before the start of the examinations, scheduled towards the end of the year.

The Ministry is also sourcing generators and solar panels for schools that are not connected to the national grid to ensure power supply, Chipango added.

However telecom analyst at Computer Society of Zambia Amos Kalunga expects little improvement because he feels the government has not done enough. "One wonders how the government will manage to procure and distribute the computers, generators and solar panels within the remaining few months before the examinations," Kalunga said.

Last year, grade nine pupils in the Southern African country were forced to write the practical ICT examinations in the middle of the night due to lack of adequate computers. The situation was also compounded by long hours of power cuts by the power utility company ZESCO due to power shortage affecting the country.

Pupils were also asked to borrow computers and laptops from their respective homes for use at school during the examinations.

According to the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ), the country has 15, 000 computers in approximately 1000 schools.

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