Vice President Inonge Wina says there is need for the country’s education system to embrace digital libraries as channels for accessing education and information.
Mrs Wina said traditional libraries are not serving the purpose for which they were built due to technological advancements in society.
She noted that traditional libraries have not received physical infrastructure facelift in ages and face the challenge of stocking relevant up-to-date books.
“This has resulted in most libraries remaining behind in terms of relevance in schools and communities, especially libraries which are supposed to be the nearest source of information for people leaving in the communities,” said Mrs Wina
Mrs Wina pointed out that digital libraries present opportunities for access to great volumes of educational materials and information at the convenience of the learners.
The Vice President said this in a speech read on her behalf by Minister of Transport and Communication Mutotwe Kafwaya during the launch of the Digital Library Programme in Zambia in Lusaka.
Mrs Wina said Zambia must begin to benefit from the national Information and Communications Technology policy and interventions of delivering knowledge in a cost effective manner to users,
The Vice President has since directed the ministries of Transport and Communication, General Education and Higher Education to ensure adequate investment in ICT infrastructure in rural areas in order to enhance provision and access to digital libraries.
She noted that the digital library programme and e-learning should take centre stage in light of the Covid 19 pandemic that has disrupted the traditional delivery of education in the country.
She further directed the ministry of Transport and Communication to ensure that the Universal Access Fund under ZICTA is fully utilized to create a digital economy that works for all sectors.
Mrs Wina said government attaches great importance to the Digital Library Programme as demonstrated by the continued effort of installing more communication towers countrywide to facilitate communications and ignite socio-economic development.
“Let me …congratulate the team at Digital library Zambia for embarking on this innovative approach to sharing knowledge, recognizing that modern education and knowledge delivery needs to ride on platforms created by information and communications technologies across the country” said Mrs Wina.
And speaking at the same function, Minister of General Education Dennis Wanchinga who is also acting Higher Education Minister said digital libraries will enhance the quality of education in the country due to the enormous value being brought to the table.
And Chief Executive Officer of Digital Base Limited John Mulenga speaking from Poland through Zoom said the Digital Library programme will save government huge sums of money being spent on students at the two public universities.
Mr Mulenga said his firm is ready to partner with government and other stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the digital library programme and e-learning solutions in the country.