Repairs and Maintenance of ICT Equipment

Repairs,maintenance and replacement of both local area network and end-user ICT equipment at colleges/units should be planned for and incorporated into the annual ICT budgets of colleges/units in consultation with DICTS. This will make it easier for DICTS to coordinate and guide colleges on repair and maintenance of ICT equipment.

DICTS has over the past several years run without repairs/maintenance funds despite submitting an annual budget for the same to Management. All repairs and maintenance of equipment on the Makerere core network have only been done on crisis-mode (funds being availed when equipment malfunctions or breaks down). This has detrimental effects on the equipment and affects service continuity.

Some may wonder why DICTS has continued to "complain" about money yet it runs a generous SIDA project!.SIDA has indeed over the years supported DICTS financially to implement ICTs for Development in Education at Makerere for which we are grateful.However,SIDA will not provide funds for repairs and maintenance of any ICT equipment.This is because SIDA expects the university to already have a clear repair and maintenance policy and sustainability plan for ICTs in place ("I won't give you a cow and feed it for you").

However on a positive note,university management has agreed to support repairs and Mantainance at DICTS using part of the Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology Fund to the tune of 200 million shillings annually for the next 5 years.While this amount of money will go along way in repairing and mantaining core-network related issues at DICTS, it will not be enough to extend to colleges/units given that the back-bone equipment we run at DICTS is very costly thus attracting high repair and mantainance charges.

It's has also been observed that most repairs on college/unit local area networks result from either poor network cable trunking (normally done without consulting DICTS for guidance on professional standards) or damage due to rodents both of which can be avoided.This is therefore to request that all colleges/units consult DICTS before implementing ICTs for guidance and incorporation into the university-wide ICT framework. As for damage caused by rodents,colleges/units should regularly fumigate their premises which will bring down the overall repair/mantainance cost in the long-run.