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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Kiranga Maarifa Centre set to bridge knowledge gaps

By Bob Aston
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral and accepted part of life for many people. ICT is increasing in importance in people’s lives and it is expected that this trend will continue.
It is expected that soon ICT literacy will become a functional requirement for people’s work, social and personal lives. This indicates that ICT is currently the bedrock for the survival and development of any nation in a rapidly changing global environment.
The need to bridge the gap between the ICT literates and illiterates in Kiranga area of Muruka Division in Kandara Sub County, has now led Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) Jitolee to partner with Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) in establishing Kiranga Maarifa Centre.
Kiranga Maarifa Centre will be hosted at Kiranga Youth Polytechnic. It will be a section of the polytechnic that will offer ICT training which will be open to all community members around Kiranga area. The centre will also offer library and cybercafé services. The centre is expected to extend it services to other polytechnics served by VSO Jitolee like Kithoka Youth Polytechnic in Meru and Ithiru and Baraka Youth Polytechnics in Muranga South.
In order to learn how other Maarifa Centres are managed by ALIN, Lameck Mwangi who has been working in the ICT department of the polytechnic, attended a three (3) days orientation at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre from August 12-14, 2014.
Lameck going through their blog at Ng'arua Maarifa Centre
The orientation provided Lameck with an opportunity to learn how to keep Maarifa records, how to conduct ICT training, various tools to use during ICT training, documenting and disseminating information to the general publication, various services offered at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre and blogging.
Lameck is optimistic that the knowledge and skills that he acquired during the orientation will help him to effectively provide the various services that Kiranga Maarifa Centre is set to offer.
“I am convinced that the Maarifa Centre will start with the best possible footing. The orientation has provided me with hands on experience on how to manage the centre. I am now better equipped on the task at hand and I am fully prepared to start providing the services when the Maarifa will be in operation,” said Lameck. 
He expects that the ICT training will provide an opportunity for professionals, farmers, form four leavers as well as business men and women in Kiranga area to learn about various computer packages.
He believes that the library will be extremely useful particularly to students as there is no nearby library in the area.
“I am extremely grateful to ALIN for organizing the three days orientation at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre. I now know more about Maarifa Centres. The citizen journalism training that I also received will be extremely helpful when documenting and disseminating information,” said Lameck.
The increasing use of ICT in everyday life has changed the way people view ICT. This has led to many people taking computer classes. It has given people access to various tools as well as easing access to information and making it easier to communicate.
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