EDITORIAL: We’ve passed the first cap and IT is here to stay

Ever since the Government adopted technology as its main economic vehicle, it was well aware that it was not just a simple walk in the park.

The first priority was to build a robust infrastructure to act as a platform for many innovative ideas. The next was to invest in skills to have a knowledgeable manpower to drive the ambitious plans. Today Rwanda is hi-tech and everyone is taking the e-trail.

Mobile payments and e-commerce were areas that took off with incredible speed, bus transport has gone paperless and fibre optic cables snake even up to the remotest parts of the country.

When the idea of building a smart country was still on the drawing board, it was decided that in order to sustain the new technology backbone, schools would need to go hi-tech as well. The One-Laptop-per-Child at first hit a somewhat expected snag in areas that were not connected on the national grid, but that is being addressed by adopting solar energy.

So, the next step was building smart schools by digitising the whole learning process. Blackboards would be waved goodbye as electronic boards took over, and here we are.

This week the first two smart classes were unveiled, an initiative between the Government and Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS) and more will soon follow. This is the last lap and no one should be left behind.

That is why the Government needs to put more efforts to do away with IT illiteracy, especially in the rural areas. Many of them out there fear the unknown, and technology is one of them. But that glass ceiling can be broken by their smart children or determined local leaders. The information highway should not accommodate any stragglers.