Unam students now using WI-FI for their studies

WINDHOEK; University of Namibia (Unam) students countrywide can now access the Internet at their convenience on and off-campus.

This was made possible through a partnership between Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) and Unam.

The two entities officially launched a WI-FI provisioning partnership for the university’s campuses at the main campus in the capital on Thursday.

The local area wireless technology (WI-FI) at all Unam campuses already commenced in March this year, and a total of 10 000 users have so far made use of this technology.

Speaking during the launch, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Joel Kaapanda commended MTC for being driven by commercial interests, but also fulfilling its social responsibility by not only providing digital services at all Unam campuses, but also making it available for students anywhere as long as they are on MTC’s network.

However, students have to pay N.dollars 500 per year to access the Internet.

The minister said access to Internet at the convenience of students will essentially improve research and development at that institution of higher learning.

It also raises hopes towards the effective educational planning and execution of university programmes, and creates an opportunity for innovation.

Kaapanda noted that apart from improving the students’ studying methods and outcomes, Unam will also enjoy low-cost Internet access, which will enable the university to strengthen its Research and Development Department.

“I, therefore, urge the University of Namibia to intensify research and development activities in order to bring to the fore new products which can enhance service delivery in our country,” he stated.

The partnership between Unam and MTC is in line with the National Development Plan Four (NDP4) and the Universal Access and Service Policy aimed at promoting access to information technology.

This policy advocates universal access and services to the full range of information and technology infrastructure, services and content from fixed to mobile telephony, radio and television broadcasts, data and Internet services as well as other broadband-enabled services to the citizens.

On his part, MTC’s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs’ Officer, Tim Ekandjo called on institutions of higher learning in the country to invest in research and development because opportunities in ICT are endless.

“We hope students are putting it to good use,” he said, adding that MTC also partnered with Unam in 2012 when it rolled-out laptops with Internet to students.

Ekandjo added that as a country, companies need to invest in primary and secondary schools so that when learners join institutions of higher learning, they understand how to use it.

SOURCE: NAMPA

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