Inaugural Lecture Explores the Role of ICT in Connecting the Global Community
Exploring the crucial role that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays in connecting human society was the focus of School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academic, Professor Manoj Maharaj’s recent inaugural lecture titled: “Connected: The Promise (and Perils) of ICT.”
The lecture, which had an overwhelming attendance, commemorated Maharaj’s appointment to full professorship as well recognising his invaluable contributions towards the vision, mission and strategic direction of the University.
Maharaj discussed the role that technology has played, and is playing, in the advancement of society: ‘While we embrace the positive impact of technology, it is also important that we guard against the unmitigated dangers that it poses.’ He also added that ‘Telecommunications technologies are arguably the most significant achievement of human society.’
Maharaj also spoke about online social networks and how they have changed the way people interact, the role of broadband liberation in economic development and the role of ICT in education and how South Africa can enhance its education system by embracing technology.
‘ICT amplifies everything you do, if you are a good teacher it will make you shine but if you are a bad teacher technology will expose you.’ Maharaj also lamented the terminology used to discuss education funding where often leadership talks of the ‘cost of education’ whereas they should be talking about an ‘investment in education, our youth and hence, our collective future’.
To make the event even more memorable, Maharaj’s daughter, Swetha who is currently training in classical singing serenaded the audience with a powerful musical item.
College Dean of Research, Professor Marita Carnelley said Maharaj’s lecture was very enjoyable as he was able to present the complex topic of ICT in a way that everyone could understand and really showed how the ‘dots connect’.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi said Maharaj’s topic could not have been more appropriate as ICT is a valuable tool for improving the quality of peoples’ lives.