Thousands of computers donated by President Robert Mugabe to rural schools have remained unused years on and have become obsolete still in their packages owing to widespread technological illiteracy among the teachers, a senior government official has said.
President Mugabe has, since 2000, been “donating” computers to primary and secondary schools around the country.
But according to deputy Information Communication Technology and Courier Services minister, Win Mlambo, government’s efforts to intensify internet uptake was being hampered by digital illiteracy among teachers.
He was officially opening the second internet governance multi-stakeholder conference organized by the Media Institution of Southern Africa -Zimbabwe chapter (MISA) in Harare on Thursday.
Mlambo said as a result thousands of computers which President Mugabe donated to schools have not been used owing to lack of digital knowledge.
“Most of these computers which the President is donating to almost 9000 schools which we have in the country are becoming and have become obsolete in their packages,” said deputy minister Mlambo.
“Some of the reasons given by headmasters and teachers in these schools are that they are illiterate and they ask us that how we can teach the children when us the teachers do not have that technological knowhow,” he said.
Mlambo said the civil society should assist communities in the ICTs training so that the country joins the information society.
“You need to involve everyone in these discourses so that no one is left behind and this can be done through increasing knowledge on the use of computers and these new media technologies to key and decision makers,” said minister Mlambo.
In 2012, the president launched the national e-learning programme aimed at improving the education sector through Internet learning at primary and secondary school level.
The uptake of these computers has been also affected by lack of electricity in most rural schools where these gadgets had been donated.
There are also reports of theft of some of these computers by the teaching staff. – NewsZim