The government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is making efforts to integrate ICT into the teaching and learning process. The intensive use of ICT for teaching and learning in educational institutions was recommended by the Nziramasanga (1999) which was set up to inquire into the Education and Training System of Zimbabwe.
However, teachers in Zimbabwe face challenges in operationalising ICT in their everyday pedagogical practices due to several factors. Zimbabwe is one of the African countries that has a dedicated national ICT policy which was adopted in 2016. The policy makes reference to the promotion of ICT in education including pedagogical use.
Zimbabwe’s ICT policy vision, which remain unfulfilled and subsequently overtaken by vision 2030, was to transform the country into a knowledge-based society by 2020. The goal was to accelerate the development and application of ICTs in support of economic growth and development. The policy’s objectives are to promote the development of ICT infrastructure and to provide education and training programmes for production of knowledge workers and qualified human resources.
Due to huge enrolment per year, the school has not been able to adequately provide reading material for all the students. The student textbook ratio is at 1:52, which evidently has an impact on the pass rate. This has been caused by:
Inadequate funds to purchase textbooks by the school- each book costs between $25-$55
Most of the students do not pay school fees, thus affecting the schools cashflows.
With the new curriculum that the Ministry of Education has introduced, there is not enough reading material that has been published for schools. For example, subjects like GIS. A number of schools are yet to catch up with the requirements of the NewCurriculum System. This means that students will have to rely on online material to learn these new subjects.
The school’s pass rate has a potential to rise if a solution is provided. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education are advocating for the adoption of ICT in all schools in Zimbabwe.
Our Recommended Solution
To contribute towards governments efforts to transform the teaching environment into a learner-centred one, Munyoro Secondary School needs to be supported with WiFi. This program is in line with the schools introduction of tablets and phones as part of critical learning tools at the school. In addition, the school has 2 functional desktop computers that were donated through the President’s ICT support program in 2005. The Wi-Fi program will:
1. Improve access to relevant and latest learning material that aligns with the new curriculum.
2. Improve facilitation of lessons as students now get assignments from their teachers through WhatsApp.
3. Improve ICT competences among teachers and students in the rural school.
4. Increase pass rate as access to knowledge has been provided.
5. Impact +/-900 students, with an investment of US$1.077 thus US$1.19 is invested on each student.
This project will be deployed in collaboration with Parvitech Enterprises Ltd., an African company that has supplied original and affordable ICT products since its inception.