JDPC Nnewi takes the Campaign for Health system Strengthening and Education Advancement in Anambra state to the Anambra state ICT Agency

Justice Development and Peace Caritas (JDPC) Nnewi recently extended its Campaign for Anambra Health laws Strengthening and Education Advancement to the Anambra State ICT Agency as part of the Community Resilience Engagement and Management (CREAM) project. Funded by the UK FCDO and facilitated by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, the CREAM project aims to enhance the implementation of Anambra’s education and health laws.

During an Advocacy meeting, JDPC Nnewi, led by Rev Fr Benedict Chima Okolo, expressed concerns about students’ preparedness for Computer-Based Tests (CBT) in line with WAEC and JAMB pronouncement to commence CBT method at their Examinations. He further said other focus of the meeting was on collaborating with the ICT Agency to address technological gaps in education and healthcare in the state.

During his speech, one of the Project Team members, Onyekachi Ololo emphasized that the state’s ongoing digitalization initiatives were laudable and must be encouraged, he further called for similar attention to be extended to public schools and primary healthcare centers.
Ololo emphasized the need for automation in public schools and healthcare centers, while calling for training and sensitization to ensure citizens do not only benefit from the program but participate actively as the government continue to roll up the digitalization program.
He further praised the free Antenatal and Delivery Program of the Government and asked for the State Agency to set up and recognize independent reporting methods to give them status reports on the nature of the program, here is were technology will be essential he concluded.

Community Working Groups selected amongst the focal communities where the CREAM project is implemented joined in the meeting to establish direct links with the ICT Agency. Oriaku Ogoamaka Atuenyi from Utuh community highlighted the absence of a functional computer center in the secondary school of her community, emphasizing the importance of preparing students for a tech-driven world, while Ide Godwin Eze the State Chairman of Community Empowerment Network (COMEN) who is from Oba community called for more sensitization at the communities to embrace the digitalization program of the government as it is needed to secure the commitment of both community leaders and members.

In his response, Mr. Castro Ideke, who represented the Chairman of the ICT Agency, Mr. Agbata Chukwuemeka, said Mr Agbata went to the 11th National Council on Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy (NCCIDE) meeting held in Kano, and highlighted the government’s commitment to digitalization. He stressed that collaboration with international organizations, multinational businesses, and communities are essential for transitioning the state into Tech and upgrading Computer Labs in public schools.
While acknowledging the government’s limited resources, Mr Castro shared the vision of the State Government to build smart schools across the senatorial zones of the state and said the ICT Agency was collaborating with the Ministries of Education and Health to achieve the aspirations of the Governor for Anambra state which the SPARK project is in alignment to.

The dialogue highlighted the necessity of bridging technological gaps in education and healthcare, urging collaborative efforts between the government, communities, and international partners for a digitally inclusive Anambra state with the hope of bridging the education and health policy and legal knowledge gap in the state to empower citizens to assert their rights, thereby fostering a more informed and equitable society.

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