Nu 1bn to be invested for internet networking system: MoIC Minister

The government has approved Nu 270mn in the 12th FYP

With low internet speed in the remote areas of the country, the quality of education has been compromised, according to the Member of Parliament (MP) from Khar-Yurung constituency, Tshering Chhoden.

Accordingly, the MP asked Information and Communications Minister Karma Donnen Wangdi on the plans and measures taken up by the government to ensure online classes are productive for the students during the National Assembly Question Hour session yesterday.

In response, Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi said to build education resilience to the pandemic and to continue providing education to students, online learning systems are prioritized.

“Other than students’ data plan, we are increasing 30% data volume to a student with the TashiCell and B-mobile telecom,” the Lyonpo said, adding that the government is also helping both telecom companies to import infrastructure and specialists to build their technological capacity.

“We are facing network congestion issue still, we are working on it and solving the issues related to the network that we have right now,” he said.

Lyonpo shared that after improving the internet network in some of the areas, around 151 TashiCell sites and 239 B-mobile sites across the country are put in place, yet the ministry is working on some places to improve the network in the country.

“The government is working on the internet network system of Nu 1bn worth and still we need additional budget to improve our network infrastructure in the country,” the Lyonpo said.

The minister added that as per the research report that they have collected from remote areas, almost 10,000 households across the country don’t get the BBS channel and have access to the learning system through the channel.

Lyonpo shared that the MoIC in collaboration with the BICMA has been working on this issue and almost 7,268 people have been given the BBS channel as of now and still they are working on with the rest of the areas.

In addition, Lyonpo shared that the MoIC is working on the Rural Connectivity Project (RCP6) that is still under process and it is to have a good internet connection for which the government has approved Nu 270mn. 

According to the Lyonpo, almost 483 households will have internet connectivity soon after the completion of the RCP6.

However, the MoIC is also looking for a new alternative from other countries such as Star-link among others to have better internet connectivity in the country.

Meanwhile, to build education resilience to the pandemic and to continue providing education to all children, the Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with relevant stakeholders has developed and implemented a curriculum for Education in Emergency.

According to education ministry, the ministry continues to work towards improving the quality of education besides enhancing access to sustainable education and lifelong learning.

The sector allocation for education in FY 2021-22, is Nu 15,288mn, constituting about 19% of the total allocation. Of the total sector allocation, Nu 151mn is for education flagship to support ICT laboratory, procurement of computers, and LAN equipment for the establishment of the laboratory in the schools.

Other activities include ICT skills and knowledge development for students to prepare them for a tech-driven and knowledge-based economy.

As part of the education reform, the MoE has already piloted the curriculum of the Royal Academy (TRA) in two schools including Wangbama Central School and Dechencholing Higher Secondary School. This initiative will be replicated in 22 schools in the next FY for which a budget of Nu 68mn has been provisioned.

In addition, a budget of Nu 336mn has been allocated with the respective Dzongkhags and Thromdes for procurement of school stationeries.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu