Digital-shy Zimbabwe’s schools feel the brunt of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how citizens become vulnerable when governments do not protect and promote human rights in the online environment. The pandemic has critically affected the global education sector, potentially compromising the right to education. Across the globe, over 1.2 billion children had their right to education infringed following enforced school closures as part of the measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Most developed countries have turned to alternative means to deliver education through the use of online or electronic learning aided with digital technologies, thereby preserving learners’ human rights to education and health. Italy, China and the United Arab Emirates are some of the states that are arguably doing significantly well on education delivery.

However, in Africa, this has been a different scenario all together. African governments are battling over whether or not to reopen school premises, while those that had already taken the bold step to resume classes were forced to abruptly suspend lessons after they recorded a spike in new infections. Henceforth, e-learning has become a central talking point in African settings. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe is a typical example where debate is raging over the need for government to set up human and financial resources to address affordability, access and availability of infrastructure, devices, internet and content to aid e-learning.

 


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