BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
The United Nations Children’s International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), in partnership with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, yesterday launched a digital learning platform that will enhance remote learning in the country.
The platform, dubbed “the learning passport”, is an initiative by Unicef in collaboration with Microsoft, a multinational technology company.
In a statement yesterday, Unicef Zimbabwe representative Laylee Moshiri said the platform would address the challenges faced by 4,6 million learners in the country after physical learning was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The platform contains a digital library of teaching and learning resources from the national curriculum, as well as open education resources from a wide range of partners, mapped to complement the local curriculum to enhance learning.
“The learning passport addresses the challenges faced by millions of children and youth worldwide to access continued, quality education in times of crisis and when access is limited to traditional learning. It is a technological-based platform enabling high-quality and flexible learning designed to close the learning gap,” Moshiri said.
“The learning passport is a key innovation meant to enhance learning pathways, while providing critical continuous access to quality education.”
Government recently launched television and radio lessons to enhance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period, but the media was not accessible to most rural learners who remained excluded from the initiative.
Government-run schools failed to conduct e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic due to lack of resources.
Speaking during the launch, Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema said: “The learning passport has arrived when government has launched its national development strategy 1 (NDS1) which focuses on initiatives around inclusive education as well as innovative technologies that support alternative learning approaches from early childhood development upwards.
“As such, the learning passport in Zimbabwe will support the implementation of the NDS1 as well as go a long way in supporting the catch-up strategy for the formal school curriculum.”
Zimbabwe’s new education curriculum emphasises competencies in information and communication technology, and computer-assisted learning.