The COVID 19 pandemic is biting hard on almost every sector. Schools, sports, businesses, religious organizations, name it; they have all been disrupted by it. In the educational sector, over a billion learners have been forced to abandon their dreams temporarily.
UNESCO – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has stated that approximately 80 percent of students, globally, are impacted by the nationwide lockdown caused by COVID 19.
Furthermore, most governments are not keeping their fingers crossed. They are exploring different ways to continue the academic business, though not as usual. It would involve the leveraging of technology or traditional media such as television and radio. Of course, these mediums provide entertainment to people and can equally be leveraged to teach students.
However, ZINASU, Zimbabwe’s apex student body, has blatantly rejected the e-Learning proposal put forward by the government for several reasons.
Why ZINASU (Zimbabwe National Student Union) Is Rejecting e-Learning
Several African countries have embraced e-Learning, using several digital tools, including Google Classroom. But according to ZINASU, e-learning won’t work for Zimbabwe’s students, owing to specific and apparent challenges. Consequently, the body is rejecting its introduction and sees it as a cosmetic fix.
The rejection notice came after the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education urged students to embrace e-Learning opportunities as the COVID 19 pandemic lingers.
Professor Amon Murwira, who is the country’s minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, also gave similar remarks, supporting e-Learning. Prof. Amon said that higher institutions in the country have already started creating content for eLearning.
However, the Zimbabwe student union is seriously against the e-Learning idea proposed by the government.
Here is what the student body is saying;
“A notable idea, however, the significant factors were wholly left out. The majority of the students in these institutions lack access to a stable power supply and internet connection. From the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company report, only 41 percent of Zimbabweans have access to electricity, and a smaller percentage have access to reliable mobile networks.
The rejection statement from ZINASU;
“ZINASU’s position in the proposed e-Learning for students in Zimbabwe is outright rejection. The decision was reached, after carefully considering a vast majority of students, including their benefactors.
Zimbabwe is still battling with internet access and electricity problems. Unfortunately, in the entire population of the country, only about a quarter is enjoying these essential services.
However, most private schools in Zimbabwe have been able to leverage Google Classrooms to make e-Learning possible for their students. But the same cannot be said of the average public primary and secondary schools throughout the country.
ZINASU is not against the e-Learning idea proposed by the government. The body only wants the necessary mechanisms to be in place so that every student in Zimbabwe can participate and benefit.