FIXED telecommunications operator, TelOne, has launched an online e-learning platform dubbed Impact Learning that is expected to improve the capacity of its already existing Centre for Learning.
The growth of e-learning platforms has been steady over the years, but the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online platforms for educational purposes.
TelOne managing director, Dr Chipo Mtasa, said they have had an e-learning platform in the past as part of its long-term strategy, but had to be expedited due to the global pandemic.
“We were also forced to introspect to see how enabled we were. It is interesting to note that as part of our vision, we had a plan for the digitisation of TelOne Centre for Learning.
“The first part of the digitisation process was the development of an e-learning platform to allow our students to be able to learn online. The digitisation of TCFL had been initiated with the e-learning platform Impact Learning already in place,” she said.
“The system became handy as our lecturers were able to migrate their training from physical classroom to the virtual classes on Impact Learning platform.
“Lectures were continued online smoothly. This system became a tool to replace the physical classroom.
“We have also used the system for our internal staff development and training and it has really worked well to help equip our staff with necessary skills.”
Across the world, educational institutions have been hit hard by Covid-19, and official figures from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Fund (UNESCO) show that over 160 countries had partially or completely closed schools and universities, affecting over 1, 5 billion learners and at least 60, 2 million teachers worldwide.
Officially opening Impact Learning in Harare this week, ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said local innovation was critical to sustainable national development.
“Innovation is a key driver to the development of nations. With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), it has become apparent that a developing nation has to invest in skills development with a bias towards innovative skills,” said Dr Muswere.
“It is not enough, however, to provide skilled manpower to the industry but it is a requirement to introduce innovative products and services to the industry.
“TelOne has led the Innovation drive by developing this E-Learning platform which is already operational at the TelOne Centre for Learning to initiate for both undergraduate students and Corporate Training departments who use the platform to conduct professional business training sessions. This is a move in the right direction.”