When it comes to the Education sector, the current COVID pandemic, exposed Zimbabwe’s lack of preparedness. The last time students attended school was back in March of 2020. A year later students are still to return to school in earnest. Very few schools can afford to do e-learning because most schools and students don’t have computers or smart devices to use. The government’s radio learning programme also failed miserably.

Now the government has announced another ambitious plan or rather a series of plans. Dubbed SMART Zimbabwe 2030, 15 cabinet programmes will see each school in Zimbabwe being transformed into an e-learning hub with 41 computers.

The national e-learning strategy for schools is part of the SMART Zimbabwe 2030 master plan, which is programme 15 of the Cabinet-approved government priority programmes on innovation

Honourable Mutsvangwa

Hon Mutsvangwa went on to give more numbers on the programme and said each school will not only have a computer laboratory but:

  • 41 computers,
  • A server
  • A projector
  • A printer,
  • A whiteboard
  • Connectivity

A pie in the sky

The government’s plan sounds like many others before it including Robert Mugabe’s computerisation program which went nowhere. Most rural schools don’t have electricity and how is that equipment going to be powered? Never mind power, a lot of rural schools don’t even have classroom blocks and now they will build laboratories? Who is going to fund this project? How is it going to be different from the other past failures?

What’s even more sad is that 41 computers per school will probably not be enough!