By Johannes Hangula
THE Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) officially handed over 17 computers, audio equipment and specialised software packages worth N$235 000 to the computer laboratory of the School of the Visually Impaired in Windhoek on Thursday. The school, located in the Khomasdal area, operates an IT laboratory for its partially and fully blind learners aimed at equipping them with essential computer literacy skills. However, over time, the laboratory’s 15 original computers suffered from normal wear and tear. Furthermore, the computers had become obsolete and could not meet the minimum hardware specifications required in order for a major software upgrade to be performed.CRAN’s donation to the school includes the replacing of the obsolete computers in the laboratory with 17 brand new computers. In addition, CRAN also paid for the renewal of all the expired software licenses and for the upgrades.
Officiating at the event, CRAN Chief Executive Officer, Festus Mbandeka said: “The donation is in line with our corporate social investment policy, which aims to give back to the community in which CRAN operates”. He added that CRAN believes that ICT plays a pivotal role in creating a knowledge-based economy and enhancing socio-economic development in Namibia for all. Mbandeka stated that through CRAN’s mandate and its Corporate Social Investment policy, the company was creating and implementing a framework, which will ensure that all Namibians enjoy the full socio-economic benefits of ICTs. At the core of every knowledge-based economy is a population which is technology savvy. This is the reason why CRAN believes that the donation will go a long way in equipping the current and future learners of the school with practical skills on “how to fish” for themselves in the ICT world. “We implore the learners and teachers to fully utilise the equipment in order to remain relevant and updated with what is happening in the world, and to empower themselves with Microsoft Office programmes such as Word to type letters, Outlook to send and receive emails, and PowerPoint to create presentations to acquire skills that will assist them towards employment and self-employed,” Mbandeka concluded. Receiving the donation, Visually Impaired School principal Merlize Fransman acknowledged CRAN for responding to their need. ‘‘Donations such this one will change the future of Namibian child, and investing in the Namibian child will always make the broader Namibian community a broader world. So this donation is noted with respect and sincere appreciation,’’ Fransman concluded.
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