The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
400 SCHOOLS are set to get free data for the next nine months as government moves to implement the National e-Learning Strategy.
In March the government approved the National e-Learning Strategy for Schools in Zimbabwe which will see more learning institutions having internet connection before year end and 3 000 teachers receiving information communication technology (ICT) training.
Making a presentation during the post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Monica Mutsvangwa revealed that the provision of free data was part of a strategy by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to accelerate the implementation of the strategy.
“The objective of the National e-Learning is to transform the education sector through the development of adequate technological capacity for both learners and educators regardless of geographical location or economic circumstance.
“The Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services wishes to accelerate the implementation of the National e-Learning Strategy through the provision of free internet services to 400 schools that already have connectivity but are encountering difficulties in paying monthly bandwidth subscriptions. The schools will be provided with data for nine months,” said Min Mutsvangwa.
She said an additional 180 rural schools will have been connected by the end of 2021, and will benefit from the same initiative.
The Minister said in addition to the provision of free access to internet services at Community Information Centres and Community Village Information Centres, Government will also be meeting all operational expenses, inclusive of staff remuneration.
“Taking into cognizance the financial hardships brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak, Cabinet wishes to advise the citizenry that all students, pupils and the general public using these facilities will enjoy free access to internet services at Community Information Centres and Community Village Information Centres for a period of nine months.
“Members of the public will, however, continue to pay for the other services such as printing, scanning and photocopying that are offered at these facilities. Community Information Centres in cities, towns and at major Growth Points will support students, pupils and youths with free internet in order to o spur e-learning, e-commerce and innovation,” she said.