By Kudzai Gumbo
GOVERNMENT has sealed a deal with telecommunications companies for students to have free access to all university websites.
The deal comes as universities are expected to open this Monday.
Government through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, has successfully negotiated an e-learning deal with telecommunications companies for students to have access data.
The Minister, Professor Amon Murwira confirmed this Sunday that Liquid Telecoms and Econet have agreed to avail data at low cost to students and university staff, while university websites will be accessible free of charge.
“We have negotiated on behalf of all universities to ensure every student will have access to reduced data costs. They will make all universities’ websites toll-free meaning students will not be charged to go on the university website to get access to learning material. We want every student to get access to e-learning,” he said.
Meanwhile, the University of Zimbabwe Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Mapfumo says they have put in place mechanisms to ensure students have access to e-learning beginning on the first of June.
He applauded the government for striking the data deal.
“We are grateful for the government for this deal. Our duty is to now operationalize e-learning. Our final year students will commence their e-learning on the 1stbof June and they will gradually come for the face to face lectures. By July 6 we must have our exams for the affected semester,” he said.
Since the closure of universities, the government has been strategizing on the best options to ensure students are not be affected by the effects of COVID-19.
E-learning is one of both short- and long-term measures to ensure students have access to tertiary education.
By Kudzai Gumbo