By Jonathan Ugbal
A tech and communication outfit, Etiam Global Concept has likened Cross River State to Silicon Valley in the United States, the world’s most advanced and largest communications technology village.
The managing director of the company, Mark Anthony disclosed this Thursday during the launch of an over 50million Naira worth smart school computer laboratory donated by the company in conjunction with Samsung West Africa Electronics at the Government Secondary School, State Housing Estate in Calabar.
“The laying of fibre optic, development of a robust superhighway and an ICT campus, the establishment of the Ministry of ICT including other initiatives in the pipeline rightly positions Cross River as an economic and social development city that could be likened to the Silicon valley in California” Anthony said, stressing that through the launch of the pilot teacher’s resource centre smart school, teachers and students will access technology resources not only to learn ICT, but to use same in improving learning and performance.
Samsung’s head of enterprise and IT business, Rotimi Agbola while presenting the facility said that the initiative will make quality education delivery a reality in the state.
“Education is a basic human right and it is something Samsung takes seriously. We also believe that Cross River State and Samsung Electronics share same goal in improving education, hence our smart school and global lining concept is going to impact on the lives of the people” Rotimi said, adding that the school will focus on the “Training of 50 teachers in basic computer literacy, provision of teachers with access to tools, empowerment of teachers to access digital contents as well as conducting assessment of student’s progress and providing them with learning tools from any location”.
Also, Agbola who pointed out that the Smart School in Calabar is among the first 3 of 10 ICT laboratories which Samsung intends to roll out across the country in the nearest future with a total of 2500 teachers to be trained within 5 years in the training the teachers program, stressed that, “Guidance from teachers who understand the technology will be the first step for students to gain the skills needed in a rapidly advancing ICT world”, an approach he said is aimed at giving the student’s knowledge to meet the standards of the 21st century.
Flagging off the program, governor, Professor Ben Ayade, represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, said the initiative was a testimonial that signed MoUs by the present administration were beginning to come to fruition and charged the beneficiaries to use the facilities wisely in order to meet the demands of the 21st century..
“The project is focused on training the trainers and Calabar will soon be a smart city, “adding that “fibre optic cables have been laid, relevant contracts have been prepared and very soon, wherever you are, you will be able to access the internet” Ayade said.
In a similar vein, the commissioners for ICT and Education, Ofu Ayia and Godwin Ettah respectively, said the project launching was part of the state government’s effort to end poverty with ICT as a “critical enabler” and will see Samsung provide more centres, build a Samsung Technology Academy in the state with arrangements in place to establish 2 ICT centres in each of the 18 local government areas in the state in a bid to increase the number of JAMB examination centres from 4 to 36.
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