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Friday, January 27, 2017

Mobile gadgets in class a necessary move | The Herald

"The world is increasingly moving towards digital spaces, where dynamic technological inventions have become an indelible necessity." says Leroy Dzenga, Features Writer.

Photo: The Herald

In Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has been leading the race in adapting to the modern way of conducting business.

Their controversial e-Map application system is evidence of their enterprise and the thrust on information and communication technology has extended to the classroom.

With the new curriculum beginning to take shape, it comes with a provision requiring children to take part in some of their learning areas using mobile phones and tablets.

In an interview with our sister paper The Chronicle, Education Ministry spokesperson Patrick Zumbo announced the new development.

“With ICTs now being part of our education curriculum, it is true that pupils will be required to use the gadgets. It will depend on resource availability in schools as they should ensure that children have access to the gadgets,” Zumbo said.

The Ministry is well aware of the cost related to this ambitious idea and have not rule out parent involvement.

“Parents must chip in and help schools which are not well resourced to provide the gadgets. In fact, it is both the obligation of both the school and the parents in getting the required gadgets,” Zumbo said.

Mr Zumbo said the ministry understands the potential threat posed on grade by the introduction of the gadgets.

“Parents must also understand that these gadgets especially smart phones are will strictly be for learning not WhatsApp. We have enough capacity to monitor the gadgets and we will block some of these sites in our schools,” he said.

The gadget use is set to be introduced from ECD to A-Level, with differences being in the intensity of functionality.

Parents have welcomed the modernisation with a pinch of pessimism.

Mr Albert Zvareva a father of two daughters at a local boarding school resented the idea vehemently saying there was too much at stake.

“From a moral standpoint, I don’t think that having phones in class will do students any good. They may get tempted through technology to engage in regrettable activities.

“There have been concerns on Satanism which has been infiltrating through WhatsApp and other websites. Without proper supervision, a child at school might want to experiment,” Mr Zvareva said worried of the acquaintances children may attract for themselves.

He urged the authorities to reconsider this move, saying the traditional way of teaching has lesser repercussions.

“When one is at school, they should read their books and focus on their work. There is plenty of time after school for these children to catch up. It is better to have children who finish school knowing little about mobile phones than to have children who fail to complete school,” he said.
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Source: The Herald