Higher Education: Digitization Machine Grinds On

Minister Jacques Fame Ndongo has signed n agreement with Orange Cameroon to offer free internet to beneficiaries of President Biya’s special gift of 500,000 laptops

All debates on access to internet required to enable students in universities across the country safe data on cloud, should now be history. The Minister of Higher Education who on behalf of the Head of State kick-started the distribution of free laptops to 500,000 students in universities nationwide, has signed an agreement with telecommunications giant, Orange; an agreement which guarantees the available of free internet access for university students.

The agreement which Minister Jacques Fame Ndongo signed in his ministry in Yaounde with the Director General of Orange Cameroon, Frédéric Debord on April 27 in the presence of the Professor Maurice Aurélien SOSSO, Rector of the University of Yaounde I and Chief of the conference of heads of higher institutions, was penned following instructions of the head of state. It is aimed at promoting digitalisation in the school milieu and supports the effective use of the laptops the Head of State offered to students with the aid of the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Going by the clauses of the agreement, Orange Cameroon will provide the innovations and connectivity needed to bolster e-learning and development of information and communication technology. It also goes beyond learning to facilitation of financial transaction between students, staff and the institutions. Through it, a mobile money system would be set up to facilitate payment of fees and dues such registration, salaries, entrance examination fees, among others.

Digitalisation of education from a global perspective is lauded for ensuring effective and improved learning, effective and improved teaching practices such as the use of Skype for lessons and collaborative video sessions; improved recording and assessment as well as refined administrative decision making.

Showing proof of not being oblivious of the fact that students will certainly use the laptops and internet connectivity for extracurricular activities such as social media interactions, the Head of State, took time to dish out fatherly pieces of advice to the youth in his address on the eve of the 2018 National Youth Day. He urged them to be patriotic and responsible when they go putting out the country’s business on the World Wide Web, particularly on social media networks.

Waineng Wainmbui

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