The Sunday News
Tendai Bhebe, Sunday News Reporter
THE Government is calling upon private and public companies to take an active role in supporting e-learning in schools so that they continue to bridge the digital divide in the country.
Deputy Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Cde Edgar Moyo said the public should collectively join hands with the Government in extending e-learning to schools so as to promote the new curriculum.
“We have challenges mainly to do with funding and these constraints slow the e-learning programme. We call upon private and public companies as part of their corporate responsibility to come in and assist. After all it’s for their benefit because a well educated and information, communication and technology (ICT) literate work force is to their advantage. This reduces their investments later in life when they are training them at work.
“Companies that are working within communities should be visible in terms of their investment into education. We want to see more of it coming in because education of a nation should not be left to the Government alone but rather it should be everyone’s responsibility to make sure that it happens. We should not wait for foreign donors to come and help us,” he said.
Cde Moyo said the Government was working with some stakeholders to provide schools with connectivity and building infrastructure for the connectivity.
“Discussions have been made with a few stakeholders with the Government and they are now at an advanced stage. They are actually at a stage of signing Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the likes of Liquid Telecom, Telone and E-learning solutions as part of the e-learning programme to provide to more than 6 000 schools most of which are in rural areas.
“Initially e-learning has been well adopted as a policy of Government of rolling out the new curriculum in both rural and urban areas. There is a plan by the Government which is at a later stage to roll out network connectivity in communities, build infrastructure for the connectivity like computer laboratories and provide gadgets like computers together with laptops,” he said.
Cde Moyo said e-learning was set to help develop what students know and adapting it so that it assists in the unpacking of the new curriculum and be used more as a tool in learning programmes.
He added: “I can safely say that most schools have already taken it on board on different stages depending on where they are and resource availability for them. In some schools they have fully fledged computer laboratories and other schools were given laptops through the Presidential Programme. In some cases schools have taken their initiatives to procure their own gadgets and connectivity. Some schools have taken the initiative of installing transmitters to access Internet.”
He also encouraged parents to take a keen interest in assisting children with computers and laptops required as the country cannot be left out in the digital era.