9,000 schools slip through the Net

THE aim to upgrade the broadband services to 9,884 schools under the SchoolNet programme has not been achieved, the Dewan Negara was told yesterday.

Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said to enable the upgrading process new wireless facilities such as WiMAX or WiFi systems were needed.

“Right now, the system used is transmitted via satellite and on the whole, this has not been satisfactory in terms of transmission quality and speed,” he said in reply to a question by Senator Mohd Khalid Ahmad.

Rais said the government planned to upgrade the broadband services in schools by the end of this year.

He added that 1,089 rural libraries were also being equipped with broadband services through the involvement of Telekom Malaysia and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

Replying to a question by Senator Idris Buang earlier, he said the ministry had taken measures to bridge the digital divide among the people, including setting up internet centres in rural areas and having community broadband services and SchoolNet programmes.

“The people have also been exposed to ICT training and those who had undergone such training have been given certificates.

“About 250,000 people comprising students, housewives and senior citizens have been trained under the Universal Service Provision-USP project so far.”

Initiatives such as the application of e-government, e-learning and e-banking portal services had also helped enhance the people’s competency in ICT, he added.

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