Published on Voices

The new pandemic: Education

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As Covid 19 ravaged the world, a new pandemic began to rise. One that had been brewing for ages but was taken out of the pot by Covid 19, education. However, unlike Covid-19 it targeted a specific age group and luckily this pandemic has a cure.

The first stage in my homemade remedy, like zumbani tea, is that Zimbabwe should increase the number of domestically published textbooks so that the cost of buying these books may decrease. If more textbooks, especially domestic ones, which are tailored to the Zimsec syllabus, were to be published the market would flood making textbooks easier to find at a cheaper price. Since 72% of all Zimbabweans are below the poverty line, the possibility of there being at least one computer in each household was a farfetched dream. The lack of 21st Century technology would not have been such a problem if the physical textbooks had been available in public schools.  Having seen fellow exam candidates begging teachers for textbooks woke me up.

The network in Zimbabwe has to improve, an upgrade from LTE to 5G really would not hurt. If for every time my call dropped in the middle of a lesson I was given a dollar, I would be a lot less broke than I am today. This is the experience I have as a city child meaning that children in rural areas have little to no internet access. Meaning 72% of all Zimbabwean children have no access to internet resources in the form of YouTube videos. Even if they had access to the computers, they would have still failed to attend online lessons. This brings me to the second stage, build more internet boosters in these rural areas so the network is available, even if it is slow. The Ministry of Education could also partner up with network providers like Econet, to provide subsidized internet bundles for students to use. These bundles would only be accessible by a unique code available only to students to ensure that the bundles are not abused by adults.

Now with the network in place, the next part is to add good teachers. These are very hard to find unless you are willing to pay $100 on top of the termly fees. During 2020, I saw school children having to pay their teachers personally to learn. This should be unacceptable and banned. Lastly, on this issue about teachers, they should be tested regularly in not only computer literacy, because I have seen many teachers struggle with using their laptops during online, but also their subject area. This would ensure that they teach correct and relevant information to us.

You see a simple recipe to make a cure that will stop this disease. Education does not have to be like Covid 19 it could end today if we do what has to be done. Let’s take the easy way out before any blood is lost.


Announcing winners of the fourth World Bank Group and Financial Times youth blog competition


Vimbai Zisengwe

Winner, 4th annual World Bank/Financial Times blog competition

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