It seems the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has taken the bull by its horns declaring to struggling parents who cannot afford to sell their disposable property so as to afford their children an online education. Marginalised communities in Mashonaland Central with poor internet connectivity are improvising and creating small groups for children to access a 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 conscientising 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.
He said the majority of learners in both rural and urban centres were still lagging behind because this was a new phenomenon, although 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.
“Some communities are improvising and forming clusters where learners can access WhatsApp on one cell phone gadget to communicate with the teacher. Learners are taking this opportunity to catch up on online learning.” Mr Mangwiro said e-learning infrastructure and internet connectivity was still a challenge in schools in marginalised communities.