brief report on 6th MICT stakeholders’ consultative forum, Arrebusch lodge, Windhoek

Tweeting as @tatejoris2 on 25 June 2013, at the 6th (!) Ministry of ICT stakeholders’ “consultative” forum, Arrebusch Lodge, Windhoek, Namibia.  EduNet’s blog site will have missed a few of these, so read on for a slightly more verbose update on this event.


Absence of Minister, Deputy Minister and Permanent Secretary was noted – with diverse apologies by Henri Kassen, “acting” PS.

My reason for attending this meeting were the following items on the agenda:

Presentation on Education conference and the status of free internet in Schools by Ministry of Education(MoE)’

and

Presentation on the ICT infrastructure readiness by Telecom Namibia


My first tweet:

* 6th MICT stakeholders’ forum – hopefully this time we’ll hear about Joel’s promise of FREE internet in Namibia’s schools

Henri promptly indicated that both these presentations would be deferred to a later date.

sigh. and sigh again 😦

* for ICTAlliance.NA, #fossfa MICT forum, expected feedback on free school internet, AGAIN deferred from last meet Nov 2012!

My tweets during the rest of this very one-sided meeting – an innocuous monologue by Henri, responding to the one and only presentation – PWC’s ‘prototype-week’ see http://www.pwc.com/na/en/prototype-week/index.jhtml by a PWC rep, Hilda Basson and Jochen Traut. As follows:

* Henri Kassen is doing a poor job of representing the MICT in the absence of all the key decision makers – Minister, et al.
* PWC talks at us about last year’s ‘prototype workshop’ at MICT forum dominated by SOEs – Hilda Basson mining of Namibia’s intellect
* Jochen Traut of CRAN identifies projects derived from last year’s PWC protocol workshop – focus on ict education and energy

* Jochen Traut CRAN suggests that ‘prototype development’ DOES provide room for failure? #fossfa Is this really true
* Namibia ICT ranked 111th of 144 countries, by the World Economic Forum in recent reports. Education sector ranked worst overall!

See http://bit.ly/14xclwb for the WEF country summary. A very informative document, yet Henri waffled on about Namibia supposedly being better than reported on – damn!  it’s those poor responses to poorly constructed online questionnaire surveys, again! 

* grand plans? Henri Kassen is groping at straws in his inability to serve us *effectively* in delivering ICT4E outcomes.  

In a brief lull, I was able to ask Jochen Traut, CTO of CRAN, whether, given his esteemed knowledge of the industry in Namibia, schools in Namibia would get FREE internet in *my lifetime* 🙂

While Jochen gave me diplomatic assurances that such progress would eventually happen, he wasn’t willing to commit to any finite dates.  Frans Ndoroma, on the other hand, shot his mouth off about XNet doing a great job (in comparison to SchoolNet?):

* Free as in beer? Frans Ndoroma, MD of Telecom Namibia – not in your wildest dreams, if he continues to believe in XNET.

* free internet for schools in Namibia is a pipe-dream says Frans Ndoroma, MD of Telecom Namibia, in spite of MICT’s promise

* @GwenLister1 now that’s newsworthy – Joel Kapanda’s 15th May 2012 promise of free internet for Namibian schools trashed by Frans

So there you have it, folks, a government-owned telecommunications monopoly still controlling and charging schools directly for the poor (virtually non-existent) internet service at an unknown number of schools in Namibia with their (delinquent orphan?) XNet – http://www.xnet.na – oops, sorry! Google Chrome could not connect to http://www.xnet.na!

Mr Wilfred Kuria, CEO of XNet, makes some interesting, but as yet unquantified, assertions about XNet’s client base – http://bit.ly/136zett – in an eLA 2013 press release.  It’s high time he came clean on the quantifiable reality of this internet “service” to schools in Namibia.  

 Since we’ve not seen any new public reports on ICT4E progress in Namibia’s schools, and MoE continues to stall on such presentations (this meeting a good example of what we’ve come to expect from our government decision makers), we continue to guess at (any of) the projected outcomes of Tech!Na, NETSS, XNET, NOLNET and similar instances…

It’s time to crawl back into my parallel universe.




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Posted in #eLA13, #eLA2013, #Idlelo6, assistive technologies, education, EduNet Namibia, FOSS, FOSSFA, Ict4e, tatejoris

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