Government closing the digital divide between rural and urban schools

By Providence Maraneli

Mzinyathini High School in Umzingwane district has been transformed into a Rural Information Hub after government established an e-learning centre at the institution.

The development has brought good news to Audrey Chihera, who, like many other learners in rural areas, was always a step behind her peers in urban areas.

Thanks to the Second Republic, Audrey is now able to research and keep up with modern trends after the establishment of an Information Communication Technology laboratory at Mzinyathini High School.

“I don’t see any difference between us and the learners at schools in the urban areas. I can search for anything on the net, even the news I can watch,” Audrey says.

“We are so excited I can type and as I am researching and refer back to the notes tomorrow,” another learner said.

“I can do my CALA projects without any struggles,” noted another.

With schools still recovering from the adverse effects of COVID-19, the general feeling is that establishment of ICT centers is key in delivering digital literacy to once marginalised communities.

“As a rural school, most learners are computer illiterate. This donation will go a long way in covering the gap since in this day and age it is uncalled for too have learners who are not equipped with computers. Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Abednico Ncube.

The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Honourable Joram Gumbo Government, who was at the school on an assessment tour this Thursday, reiterated the Second Republic’s resolve to close the digital divide between rural and urban areas.

“The Covid-19 induced restrictions have impeded our traditional learning practices and learners have adopted e-learning as an alternative learning tool. Virtual learning has been adopted by all schools albeit in an environment where cellphones and laptops are at disposal of a few students. This is why government is promoting the establishment of computer laboratories in schools in order to give computer access to all children,” he said.

Mzinyathini High School received 41 laptops from the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services in September this year to bolster its e-learning programme.