The Sunday News
Nkosilathi Sibanda, Business Correspondent
THE call by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for schools to adopt New Information Technologies (NICTs) has yielded results at Bulawayo’s top notch western suburbs private schools, Tshebetshebe Elementary and Angels primary schools as both institutions registered their maiden Grade 7 examination classes.
Use of various digital learning platforms proved effective last year due to the Covid-19 induced closure of education institutions in country. Pupils at Tshebetshebe Elementary, which is located in Pumula South sat for the 2020 Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec) scored a 90 percent pass rate while its sister school, Angels primary, situated at Emganwini registered a 73 percent pass rate.
Parents and educationists have hailed the schools’ bold shift to use digital classroom applications for the better part of last year when the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown led to closure of schools countrywide. At a time when online learning seemed a new thing at most schools, especially public schools located in high density, Tshebetshebe and Angels Elementary schools’ teachers made a bold decision to introduce internet lessons early during the long break.
In an interview, Tshebetshebe headmaster Mr Brown Kaira said the approach to specialise in digital learning bore results.
“The best strategy we came out with was subject specialized teaching and that also called for the use of online teaching applications,” said Mr Kaira.
Mr Kaira said, as Grade 7 pupils slowly adapted to the digital classroom, their teacher died and the school had to come up with a solution that will best help learners pass through the misfortune.
“The Grade 7 class teacher passed away before schools reopened for phase 1 in September. During that difficult year, the best teachers in their subjects within the school volunteered to teach Grade 7 pupils. A timetable was drawn and the programme was implemented. All the 30 learners were attending as well as the teachers. The school plans to continue with the same winning strategy. I would like to sincerely thank these teachers who were dedicated to their work despite the challenges,” he said.
The adoption of NICTs also worked well for the 40 pupils at Emganwini’s Angels primary. The headmaster Mr Mduduzi Tshuma hailed support they got from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
“The Ministry pushed us to move into new ways of delivering lessons and that called for vigorous e-learning. Our students deserved to pass as they put in a lot of hard work.”
Commenting on the use of NICTs at schools, seasoned educationist Mr Clemence Kunzekweguta said:
“It was a difficult time and continues to be in the education sector but that must not be a hurdle for learners and teachers. It is the new normal and adopting new teaching methods is encouraged. We commend schools that have managed to come tops with impressive results,” he said.
Both schools are owned by Bulawayo based businessman Mr Victor Moyo who expressed satisfaction at the pupils’ performance.