The United Kingdom in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), originally known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, on Thursday handed over 1 500 solar radios and 1 500 Universal Serial Bus (USB) sticks to the government for pupils to access radio lessons.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Evelyn Ndlovu said the alternative learning platform was used as a form of distance learning to teach pupils who were unable to attend face to face instructions due to COVID-19.
“The past two years has taught the Ministry to adopt and adapt to ways of teaching and learning that is digitalised and premised on use of technological gadgets. The Ministry resuscitated interactive Radio Instruction from 2020 as a digital learning form, in order to provide equitable, ethical, enjoyable learning,” she said.
Ndlovu said radio programming had the capacity to cover a vast area, hence a large number of pupils would be able to access educational material at once, as compared to other technologies.
“The radio device has the ability of providing access to multiple of pupils when compared with other digital devices such as the laptop, desktop or tablet which have individual access,” she said.
She said the radios would capacitate and enhance the use of mobile digital libraries within schools, as pupils would be able to access recorded lessons.
They would also facilitate the acquisition of active learning skills, competencies and concepts of the competence-based curriculum, she said.
“The radios will also provide alternative learning, remote learning and blended learning to both formal learners and non-formal learners, thereby bridging the gap affected by the increased dropout rate due to the various disaster that have affected the country,” she said.
Ndlovu said the radio lessons assisted in reinforcing heritage and self-identity through the access to content in local languages.
Speaking at the same ceremony, British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) director Geraldine O’Callaghan said her government remained committed to supporting children in Zimbabwe.
“The United Kingdom is committed to support children to achieve their potential and be able to continue their learning, no matter where they live, even when they do not have access to power and connectivity,” she said.