Learners petition leaders over lack of internet facilities in schools

NEBBI -Learners in Nebbi district have petitioned their leaders to provide internet facilities in schools, saying the internet is important in boosting their academic performance.

They said establishing internet facilities in schools would be helpful in academic research since they currently don’t have enough textbooks and other reading materials.

The learners who also said they have a right to information, presented their petition to the district leaders last week during the celebrations to mark this year’s “International Day of the African Child”.

They learners also voiced their concerns about online child abusers, calling for the offenders to be punished in the courts of law.

Sylivia Anirwoth, a senior one student at Erussi Secondary School who presented the petition to the leaders, said the government should ensure universal access to ICT facilities for all schools in the country.

She said with the internet at schools, learners would be able to do research on their own, stating further that during Covid-19 lockdown, learners who had access to the Internet studied online while those without access, especially those in the rural areas, had to depend on a few reading materials.

“Rural learners are unable to compete with learners in urban schools since rural schools are poorly equipped with ICT facilities to boost their learning,” she said.

Opakrwoth Chadrak, a primary seven pupil at Nebbi Primary School in Nebbi Municipality called for internet facilities in schools, saying it would ease the work of teachers and learners.

The Nebbi district LC5 vice chairman, Geoffrey Anecho Okello said the use of the Internet in local schools would aid the learners to access global information.

Anecho added that since government has a keen interest in ICT as a subject and course in the higher schools and higher institutions of learning, it must provide internet services for the learners.

“We are in the digital era where the government must come out openly to install the internet to every school to ensure that learners are exposed to global information,” Anecho said.

Isaac Ebong, the area manager for Plan International Nebbi, advocating for children’s rights, said the digital revolution has greatly promoted children’s rights to play with technological innovations built in phones and computers, such as video games.

He added: “We are advocating for the rights of our young children in accessing internet services to aid their learning through digital devices. All the development partners should come out and fight for the younger generation.”

However, the inspector of schools in Nebbi Municipality, Alfred Ongei said they plan to promote digital literacy in the West Nile region where children will be introduced to digital applications to boost their learning.

However, he warned learners against consuming pornographic materials circulated on the internet. “Some of our youths have become addicted to social media, violating the rightful purpose for researching valuable information,” Ongei said.

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