Zimbabwean Marginalised Communities Facing Challenges in E-Learning

Zimbabwean marginalised communities facing challenges in E-Learning due to poor internet connectivity, high cost of data and shortage of internet gadgets.

In some communities, people are improvising by creating small groups of learners to access one cell phone with WhatsApp for online learning and communication with their teachers.

Deputy director secondary and non-formal education Mr Temba Mangwiro said they were teaching communities on the importance of having a smart phone and internet gadgets.

"We are urging parents with disposable property to sell and purchase internet gadgets so that their children can attend online lessons," he said.

However this advice for people to sell "disposable property" and buy smartphones works only for those who have "disposable property". Some of the villagers in the affected marginalised communities have had their livelihood corroded by the high cost of living. Some are too poor to have "disposable property" so we call upon the Government, network service providers and donors to consider the plight of these communities.

Mr Mangwiro raised the issues of e-learning infrastructure and internet connectivity as the biggest challenges the schools in marginalised communities are facing. He also said though the majority of learners in both rural and urban centres were still lagging, they were gradually picking up.

"We have partners coming in to beef up the e-learning facilities and the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) is paying bills for certain schools with infrastructure so that learning can progress," said Mr Mangwiro.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean Goverment vowed to provide free internet to schools.

Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

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