Improving lives of rural communities through ICT

Students using computers at an education fair. Brunei will mark World Telecommunication and Information Society Day to promote ICT use in improving the lives of rural communities. Picture: BT file

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Activities have been organised to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), which bears the theme "Better Life in Rural Communities with ICT".

Brunei will join other International Telecommunication Union member countries in marking the event on May 17, to celebrate the achievements and progress ICT had made to improve lives.

The launching of WTISD 2011 will be held at Dewan Belalong in Bangar, Temburong, which is the pilot site for the ICT Rural Outreach Programme (iROP) implemented earlier this year, according to a press release from The Authority for Information Technology Industry (AITI).

There will be an exhibition showcasing the activities of the iROP project which was introduced to narrow the digital divide in rural areas.

Four companies under Infocomm Federation of Brunei, namely Infomars Training & Technology Solutions, ZimacSilicon Technologies, Tech One Global Ltd and Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru), will take part in the display.

Residents in Temburong will also showcase their local products which would be available online for trade upon completion of the ICT Rural Outreach Programme.

On May 25, a number of international experts will discuss radio frequency related health and safety issues at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

The public awareness programme will address safety specifications, regulations and guidelines for human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields, the statement added.

The event is expected to be attended by government officials, heads of mukim and villages, AITI licensees, non-government organisations, education institutions and members of the public who have pre-registered.

Students have also been invited to partake in the celebrations by participating in an essay writing competition related to the event's theme.

The essay on "How would the future look like in the rural community with ICT?" with no less than 100 words is open to students aged nine to 11.

In the secondary level category, students aged 12 to 18, are invited to write no less than 500 words on the essay, "Will ICT help rural communities or is it an unnecessary burden?" The closing date for the competition is May 30.

Anyone interested can visit www.aiti.gov.bn or its Facebook page 'Wtisd Essay Competition' or follow wtisdessay on Twitter for entry forms as well as terms and conditions of the competition.

A radio quiz will also be held from May 16 to 18 on local radio stations with questions relating to WTISD and AITI.

As a prelude to the launching of WTISD, a thanksgiving ceremony will be held at the Jame''Asr Hassanil Bolkiah after the Maghrib prayers on May 16.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is marked every year to help raise awareness of the possibilities with Internet use and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as bridge the digital divide. — Sharleen Othman

The Brunei Times