The Minister of Post and Telecommunication, MINPOSTEL, Minette Libom Li Likeng, has called on telecommunications operators to increase bandwidth and reduce its costs to facilitate access to the Internet during the confinement period.
She made the call during the sectoral meeting with telecommunication operators within the framework of the official presentation of the digital devices allowing teleworking at the said ministry on April 20, in Yaounde.
In accordance with point 11 of measures adopted to curb the spread of COVID-19, asking public administrations to prioritise electronic communications and digital tools for meetings and gatherings likely to regroup 10 people, the contribution of digital platforms to organise virtual meetings is quite essential.
For this reason, the Minister of Post and Telecommunication recommended all operators to reduced the cost of the current bandwidth, put in place focal points who will all work in the platform and digital space. Also, going by statistics given by various operators, it has been observed that access to Internet has increased to more than 13 percent, due to the fact that, many people work from the house and students on their part need to access lessons via the Internet.
It is in this perspective that Minette Libom Li Likeng called on telecommunications operators to increase bandwidth and reduce its cost by putting a redundancy in the optical fibres infrastructures to avoid switching off, thereby Internet connection accessible by all. By doing so, she is out to ensure that, actions put forth by various operators fall within government’s regulations. Therefore, the respect of these measures would go a long way to avoid certain behaviours that can be anti-competitive that can jeopardise the security of the whole system as Windfred Mfuh holds.
Furthermore, more is expected from the operators to the population and the government, given that, there would be a reduction of cost of bandwidth, mobile money transfer would equally be eased with the cancellation of certain costs of the aspects and a strategy where all local content of Cameroon will stay within the nation is also under way. This will however led to a reduction of Internet cost and makes Internet runs faster.
In the meantime, working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Secondary Education, MINESEC, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication has given a studio to teachers where they record their lessons and later on made accessible on the Internet.
“We have given them a studio where they record the courses. Once the course are recorded, we will then present the courses using the information technologies that is necessary to make the courses accessible on every social media platform,” said Windfred Mfuh. He added that, the courses would be made live in a such a way that the students concerned can follow the courses immediately, ask questions to the teachers simultaneously.
It should be noted that, the courses to be made available online could still be downloaded from MINESEC’s website and on social media websites, by students while following at the same time.
“A lot of lectures put online and what I can tell you is that teachers teaching in a classroom situation and teaching for online is different. So, we are trying to let the teachers put their contents so that they can deliver online. And, we are trying to let them have the capacity to be able to use PowerPoint for online delivery as opposed to elegant they usually do in class. The courses online are for all classes but focus is being laid on examination classes,” said Dr. Joan Wacka, Programme Consultant at MINESEC.
Therefore, this move comes to accompany government’s restriction on public gatherings of more than 50 persons and ensures the respect of social distancing of at least two meters.
By Annie Babelle Odounlami