Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has urged learners to embrace virtual learning in this digital age to improve education in marginalised areas saying it was key in the development of the education sector.
Government is making endless efforts to ensure that Zimbabwe achieves a digital economy by 2030, in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030, through the adoption and use of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs).
In an interview, Director for communications and advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Taungana Ndoro said the use of ICT allows learners to learn and apply the skills that they need in the 21st century.
“Online learning facilitates group learning and assists instructors within specific fields. It is a teaching and learning process between teachers and pupils that involves various digital mediums, such as ‘Whatsapp’, ‘Zoom’, ‘Microsoft Teams’ and ‘Google Classroom’.
“In addition, online learning does not refer to direct learning alone, and any assignments or activities, provided by the teacher online, are considered part of online learning. It was the best medium by which to ensure the continuity of pupils’ learning during the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to be used in the event of other emergencies or disasters,” he said.
Mr Ndoro said learners needed to adapt to online learning as it was an alternative pedagogy for the era of technological development and communication.
“Interactive online learning allows pupils to uncover new information by exploring digital libraries and websites. As further technologies are introduced to the field of education, distance learning facilitates the global dissemination of information and knowledge.”
Director of ZimOnline Academy Mr Admire Mukandabvute said virtual learning allowed learners to go to work during the day and attend lessons later on in the comfort of their own homes.
“In 2021, The World Economic Forum carried out scientific research about the benefits of virtual learning and their findings echoed exactly what we were telling Zimbabweans, especially the working class,” he said.
“The other major benefit is that everything is recorded, so even a slow learner can replay again and again until a certain concept is mastered. It is different from face-to-face interaction where one can forget up to 90 percent of what the facilitator said because nothing is recorded.
“As we endeavour to revolutionise our education system we have gone a notch higher. We are now recording video tutorials to make learning even easier and enjoyable and so far we have recorded Ordinary Level Mathematics and our videos are already on the market.”
He said a ZimOnline Academy, as one of the institutions that offered virtual lessons, they wanted to contribute as much as they can to the betterment of the national pass rate.