Members of Parliament (MP)’s went back to the classroom with a glee to undertake a computer program at Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL). The computer programme is aimed at empowering them with computer literacy. Upon completion of the course MPs will have developed an awareness of skill in using the Internet and Email, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Power-Point.
MP for Molepolole South, Daniel Kwelagobe, said that the program could enable them to improve communication, access information easier and be more efficient at their work.
He said that it was necessary to move with the times.
“In our time these resources were not available,” he said. “So it is important to take advantage of this opportunity to increase our knowledge for healthier debates in parliament.”
Kwelagobe said that it was an empowering tool that would give them the opportunity to do thorough research on matters of concern.
“We will be well informed of current affairs without having to leave the office to acquire a newspaper that might not have what we want.”
He stated that the Internet was a vast reserve of information that could assist them when researching on an array of issues from legislations, health, and agriculture to science and technology.
“Moreover, we will then start using the computers that the government has provided and are white elephants collecting dust in our offices,” said Kwelagobe, adding that the government had made it an objective to provide ICT facilities in rural and urban areas to be more efficient at servicing the public, hence their enrolment in such an initiative.
According to Tshelang Masisi, MP for Francistown North, the course, if used effectively, would help improve efficiency, find better administration opportunities and work more closely with their constituency.
He also revealed that the government had put in place necessary government, economic and operational frameworks to grow Information Technology.
Masisi said that these technologies were important to keep abreast of current affairs as Member of Parliament so that they could research and hold parliament with substance ÔÇô “especially in terms of bills.”
“We have to be knowledgeable to hold meaningful debates based on facts that can hinder government competence,” said Masisi. “It is imperative that as leaders we harness this technology to achieve utmost competitiveness in the parliament, hence accomplish government goals.”
In addition, Otsweletse Moupo, MP for Gaborone West North said that with ICT literacy, they could achieve the competitive edge they needed and be well informed, hence empowering them at social, economic and cultural levels.
He said that the Internet would enable them to research on any topic of their liking.
“To take advantage of these benefits, it is vital that you fully understand the potential for the Internet and e-mail to enhance the ways in which to acquire information and to communicate.”
MP for Kanye North, Calvin Batsile, added that the technology was an essential communication tool, which would enable them to be in touch with the international community.
“In the past, we did not have these technologies, but now you can communicate with someone overseas cost effectively and with limited time consumed.”