“Every Zimbabwean child should be computer literate” says Zim President

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Secondary school students using computers in Harare, Zimbabwe (file photo)

We want to build an educated nation and build a legacy throughout the world. Every Zimbabwean child should be computer literate.

These are the words that the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe said at the launch of the National e-Learning Programme at Chogugudza Primary school in Goromonzi.  The Herald, a local government owned daily newspaper, reports today that the new computerization of schools programme will see about 100 schools, both primary and secondary, receiving e-learning tools (computers and education software) under a pilot project.

As you may have noticed by now, this particular school has become the one example cited every time there’s talk about e-Learning. The school even won an ICT Achievers award last year for completing a computer lab that had computers, servers and VSAT internet connectivity. Then, some 15 teachers at the school had been trained in the use of education software.

The ICT Ministry Permanent Secretary, S. Kundishora, has said before that the Chogugudza model will be used to roll out similar labs and software to other schools by the end of 2013.

For some strange reason, the new programme launched has two names; the “National e-Learning Programme” and the “Presidential e-Learning Programme”.

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Another noteworthy mention from the president’s speech at the launch is that while the labs will be rolled out to schools that have electricity, there are plans in place to implement alternative energy solutions for schools in areas that do not have electricity at all.

Electricity supply has been a major problem in Zimbabwe in the last couple of years and seems to only be getting worse. The situation affects not only rural school but urban schools as well who have to bear the added cost of procuring and running generators just to have a computer lab switched on.

It’s  encouraging that the president himself acknowledges the role of alternative energy in such a programme. Computing devices, and even more importantly, access to the internet, provide a whole new world of opportunities and means for individuals to pursue their passions, learn and empower themselves economically.



22 Comments

  1. JamesM says:

    E-learning? Or is it having a computer lab students can go and play solitaire. Real e-learning is a costly effort and comprehensive undertaking that requires visionary national leadership unlike what we have in Zim. It means the entire syllabus, all courses and the mode of instruction is electronic via computing devices; not to mention the supporting IT infrastructure. Remote places in Canada, and Scandinavian countries have real e-learning so much so that students simply get up from bed take a quick shower and boot-up. They don’t have to go classes for instruction. Is this the type e-learning they have in Goromonzi or we are being fanciful tossing tech words here and there without a full grasp of what they really implying.
    Widespread IT literacy would be a good starting point before we can even start thinking about e-learning.

    1. Nerudo says:

      ” Remote places in Canada, and Scandinavian countries have real e-learning so much”

      Ouh so rather bring the Canadians to do it right? Quite shallow of your comment. Getting there is getting started if you want the Canadian kinda e-Learning just go to Canada here in Africa and there in Zimbabwe they have to do what makes sense to them. e-Learning “electronic learning simple you are on about the Quality there and not the meaning of it. A CD with audio of a lecture is e-Learning so go drink coffee 😀

  2. Madiba says:

    I concur with @JamesM on visionary leadership.

  3. Nhamod says:

    Forget about computers. They are so last decade. ipads  in schools are the in thing. I mean all those books on one easy to carry ipad. we will aways be playing catch up.

    1. Nerudo says:

       lOL SERIOUSLY!!!! Like Seriously!!!! Dude are you really serious!!!!! that you will only uplaud such a brilliant idea if they gave out iPads!!! Are you really serious!!!!

      Seriously are you serious????

    2. iPads are expensive, they provide content in a walled garden, and way more fragile than basic desktops.

      1. Nerudo says:

         Mr Kabweza did you really have to answer him. Does he seriously!!!! seriously!!! serioooously think such a Novel Device would be donated to public educational institutes?

        The fact that he/she thinks a Computer is not powerful than an ipad clearly gets me worried. Im serriousssly worried ahhh shuwa shiuwa shuwa.

        Maybe its just me but seriously!!! an iPad lol seriously!! an apple ipad an iPad!!!!! maybe Im wrong but an iPAD!!! Ahhhhh

        1. Kennethrambwi says:

          Don’t worry about that he/she is just a pessimist and and a sycophant of the President’s critics.

    3. Kennethrambwi says:

      We know they xst but usaenzanisa nguwo nedzaTarubva ,2nd Chimurenga we used outdated AK47 while the enemy had morden weapons even helicopters but we got our vision.These are first steps with our vissionary leader.
       

  4. Great initiative, we need this kind of initiatives, ICDL should be made compulsory for all secondary students in Zimbabwe. E-learning (electronic learning) does not only denote distance learning using computers more specifically using the web, its a generic term that denotes all learning using computers or digital technology tools. It wont take even a year to document all learning materials in Zimbabwe, using such tools like open office and the open collaborative methodology.  suggesting adopting tablets is based on the wrong assumption that tablets will replace desktop computers. 

    1. Nerudo says:

       Wise words nicely put as always. Next I want to hear is The president has funded a Linux distro 😀

      1. Fund a Linux Distro? There’s need to fund institutions that produce the skills and talent to code a distro!

        1. Nerudo says:

           🙂 🙂 Fund a building by teaching builders get my drift.

          1. join us as zosp.net we are doing just that, providing free ict skills to young people, the good thing about pentium 3 running linux 9 is that they are as fast as a p4 on windows 8

  5. Nerudo says:

    His Excellency the President has done yet another awesome job! Someone make him a custom Linux Build!!

  6. Mukanya says:

    The president of one of the most censored nations in the world wants school kids to be computer literate…geez am i the only one who see’s the hypocrisy/irony in that

  7. Esr347 says:

    Great articlule, concise and progressive. I hope joint rapport can be fostered between the relevnt ministry, IT institutions, schools and curriculum planner so that IT content that students learn is able to furnish them with the necessary foundations to learn the basics and become self-leaners in this ever evolving world of technology due to the fact that students come from different socio-economic backgrounds. i.e the IT pedagogies used by a computer teachers in a well resourced school such as St. Georges College Harare would be different to one used by the same teacher at a rural school. This is my area of interest

  8. PadotCom says:

    There is something about your style of writing – maybe you can educate me. Why would you say ”
    the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe….  The Herald, a local government owned daily newspaper” 
    Its like you are writing form outside ZIM. I normally see this in the New York Times etc.

    1. 🙂
      Mostly just because the blog is read by more than just Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe. Say someone is reading from Indonesia, we would like them to immediately know the context. Also because if the article would be read say 40 years from now (hopefully the internet, or whatever tool we will be using then, will still serve them) the content will be understood in context.

      curious to know if you think that helps. what are your thoughts?

  9. Mukanya says:

    Indeed Kabweza, it’s important to place information like that in context for the very reasons that you mention…keep up the great work

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