Stakeholders in the education sector have welcomed plans by Government to fast-track the implementation of the e-learning strategy as a positive development in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted conventional learning.
On Tuesday, Cabinet approved the fast-track implementation of the first phase of the e-learning strategy, which is planned to run over the next five years, to ensure all areas, including rural Zimbabwe, can move quickly into the modern age with no one being left behind.
At least 1 500 schools will be connected to the broadband this year, with 434 first having to be connected to the electricity grid.
In addition, 150 000 computers will be assembled at the new Msasa factory in Harare to equip the schools, while mobile applications will be ready within 45 days.
In an interview, National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH) chair, Mrs Cynthia Khumalo, welcomed the development as e-learning was fast becoming a global trend.
"It is a welcome development and will greatly benefit pupils, especially those from rural and disadvantaged communities who have been failing to learn due to the Covid-19 pandemic," said Mrs Khumalo.
Secretary-general of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) Mr Robson Chere said rural children had borne the brunt of the schools' closure due to Covid-19.
"It's a positive development considering that children, especially in the rural areas have not been learning since last year and could not afford or access e-learning," he said.
"It is also important that there is provision of electricity as most schools in rural areas are not electrified."
Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu said; "It is important that we invest in e-learning because that is the future of education.
"The initiative by Government is, therefore, a welcome development."
National Association of Secondary Schools Heads president Mr Arthur Maposa said e-learning was critical in light of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.