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Saturday, October 07, 2017

E-learning challenges in schools | The Herald - Entertainment

"It is exactly nine months since the introduction of the e-learning based updated curriculum by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education" says Shepherd Chimururi, Cool Lifestyle Correspondent, The Herald.

Most learners are still computer illiterate despite the adoption of e-learning
Photo: The Herald
Despite this introduction advocating for the adoption of technologies in virtually every aspect of infant, junior and senior education, significant challenges are preventing widespread effective implementation.

Though some of these challenges are economic and some related to the scarcity of the technologies, teachers and education leaders share the blame as well. The beneficiaries of the new dispensation which are learners have nothing to show for it. Most are still computer illiterate, they have not come across the benefits of audio visual learning and chances are high the pass rates will not improve as promised. Most students still lack of knowledge on what e-learning is all about and the different types of media used and how to use them in classroom situation.

Among those issues are challenges that represent significant constraints on the adoption of technology in education. Challenges have centred largely on lack of funds, inadequate professional training, teachers’ resistance to change, expensive yet inadequate network infrastructure, unavailability of e-learning softwares, lack of electricity, no well spelt out standards on the use of technology for the curriculum and absence of robust supervision of the e-leaning systems in schools by ministry officials.

Key among all challenges is the lack of adequate professional development for teachers who are required to integrate new technologies into their classrooms yet who are unprepared or unable to understand new technologies or who are unwilling to. Resistance to technology comes in many forms. Technophobia which is the irrational fear of technology is one of the key resistance challenges as most teachers are comfortable with the status quo.

Professional development seems to be more urgent than the equipment itself as there are many schools that received equipment through the Presidential computerisation programme but up to now students have not benefited much in terms of skills. Some schools got over 100 computers but there is no single student who is efficiently computer literate. School heads need to be told that school computers are not for decoration or prestige but that their value is in learner beneficiation. Technologies will have little to no impact on learning if teachers are not also provided with training and professional development to help them evolve from the conventional teaching practices of the 20th century.
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Source: The Herald