Korea donates ICT equipment to schools in Zimbabwe
440 teachers have since been trained on the pedagogical use of ICT.
As part of a regional cooperation project between the Republic of Korea, UNESCO, Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Cho Jaichel and the UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Professor Hubert Gijzen handed over Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment worth USD 300,000 to Zimbabwe's Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Professor Paul Mavima to benefit 20 schools in the country.
The handing-over ceremony was hosted by King George VI Memorial School in Bulawayo. The equipment will be used to pilot an e-school model in 20 Zimbabwean schools including two special needs schools.
The conceptualized e-school model is based on four pillars: infrastructure (availability of ICT tools), electronic resources (emphasis on Open Education Resources), capacity building (developing capacities of teachers), and sustainability (monitoring, evaluation accountability and learning for successful implementation of educational technology projects).
440 teachers have since been trained on the pedagogical use of ICT. The equipment was handed over as infrastructure to support teaching and learning at the selected 20 pilot schools.
High-level representatives from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Ministry of ICT and Cyber Security, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Zimbabwe, UNESCO, and the Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO attended the event.
Teachers from the beneficiary schools, the community, education partners, the media and students of King George VI Memorial School also graced the occasion.
In his keynote address, Professor Mavima thanked the Republic of Korea for the generous support and noted that the equipment fits seamlessly with the government's ambitious e-schools programme where all learning institutions in the country will have 100 percent access to computers, internet connectivity and electricity in the next five years.
"In line with the new curriculum, we are doing everything within our power to enhance the deployment of ICTs in our schools. We aim to achieve 100 percent deployment of ICTs to our schools within the next five years," said Professor Mavima.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Cho Jaichel said Korea was committed to assisting Zimbabwe to come up with its own ICT embedded education policy. He added that the project will go a long way in creating a better educational environment in the schools.
Addressing the same gathering, UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, Director and Representative, Professor Hubert Gijzen said there is need to develop "a strategy to reach the hard to reach, such as schools in remote areas, especially those that are off-grid, and schools that cater for learners living with disabilities".
"In cooperation with the Ministry, we need to develop new pilots that will also include the introduction of renewable energy together with ICTs in education," he added.
UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa is supporting the integration of ICT-based innovative approaches to education in Zimbabwe through the UNESCO-Korean Funds-in-Trust project entitled, "ICT Transforming Education in Africa". The project is being implemented in Zimbabwe under the theme: "Transforming Zimbabwe into a Knowledge-Based Society: Strengthening Quality Education through Integrating ICTs into Teaching, Learning, Research, and Innovation".
It seeks to strengthen e-education and ICTs in primary and secondary education; to capacitate higher and tertiary education utilizing diverse methodologies for lifelong learning; and to create an enabling policy environment for the effective use of ICTs in the primary, secondary, higher, and tertiary education. This phase of the project in Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe started in 2016 and will conclude in 2019.
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