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

   
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.

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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”.

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.


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