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Benue will soon have legislation on ICT, says Gov Ortom

By Sunday Iduh

Benue State is set to have a legislation backing the state’s policy on Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom stated this Tuesday during the commissioning of Benue State e-Learning and Virtual Education ICT Resource Centre.

“An Executive Bill for the establishment of Benue state E-Learning/Virtual Education ICT Policy and other related matters thereof is before the Benue State House of Assembly for consideration and passage,” he stated.

The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Tivlumum Nyitse said, “the State ICT Policy in Education has been developed as a response to the Federal Ministry of Education’s National Policy on ICT in Education Document 2019, which calls for state government’s intervention through robust alternative financing of ICT in education.

“The policy has emphasized 50% ICT inclusion at basic education level, 70% inclusion at secondary and 100% at the tertiary education levels. Relatedly, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy 2020-2030 has propelled all desire to transform Benue State into an information technology hub, using education sector as a spring board.”

According to the governor, “Benue State E-Learning/Virtual Education ICT Resource Centre (BESEVIC) is a deliberate response by the Benue State government, aimed at mitigating the devastating effect of COVID-19 and post COVID-19 pandemic on education in the state.”

“It is also to assist in the implementation of Benue State Policy on ICT in Education through subsidy interventions that will support, finance software and hardware infrastructure in the state education ICT sector. The target being to foster knowledge economy, human capital development and youth empowerment through ICT revolution,” he added.

He called on the Ministry of Education with its agencies and stakeholders to uphold and effectively enforce Benue Policy on ICT in Education for a new Information Technology (IT) order in the state’s education sector.

“We enjoin all teachers and lecturers in public schools and institutions of learning to consider our policy on mandatory digital literacy and ICT skills training and certificate under Benue State E-Learning/Virtual Education ICT Resource Centre (BESEVIC) as a child of necessity targeted at achieving a new state order in education for manpower development,” he maintained.

Commissioner for Education, Saawuan Tarnongu, in a remark, said BESEVIC was established basically to provide educational institutions and stakeholders in the state an alternative solution to reposition education into modern day and global education standards using ICT software and hardware infrastructure.

“Technology has provided the world systems with better alternatives of doing things. We have come to the realization in education that, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can be employed to enhance education service delivery hence, the desire to incorporate ICT and other classroom technologies to better education systems in the state,” he stated.

He noted that the provision was made with state government support and intervention, in line with the National Policy on ICT in Education 2019.

“This is also in response to the vision of His Excellency, Dr Samuel Ortom to revolutionize the IT industry in the state, through digital knowledge and human capital development for self-reliance,” he added.

Also speaking, Team Lead/Manager Partner, BESEVIC, Gbande Hembaor disclosed that the project will enhance the development of human capacity in ICT for the state IT industry.

“It will improve the computer literacy level of students and teachers in the state through the centre’s mandatory training. Guarantee effective deployment of ICT in education for efficient classroom delivery that will nurture innovation and entrepreneurship development in the state,” he said.

He pointed out that, it will expose the learner early to the necessary digital literacy, ICT skills training and e-learning which is capable of developing skills and competencies that will assist them in their chosen careers.

Hembaor explained that BESEVIC will create an enabling environment that will foster the entrenchment of technological learning styles and needs of futuristic students in the globally competitive world of the knowledge economy while transforming the state into a digital economy and infrastructure hub through knowledge economy.

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