Here are the reasons why e-learning is not ideal for Zimbabwe. All was normal until the covid 19 shook the world. So many things were done and not done in the name of corona. This crisis hindered and almost crippled a number of sectors in the political, economic, religion and social arenas. This article speaks about how e-learnig, which was introduced in the educational sector is not ideal in the Zimbabwean situation. Here’s why,
The cost of data.
Data in Zimbabwe and many other African and third world countries is expensive. This means that switching from face to face type of learning results in extra costs for the shareholders in the education system.
Network is also another cause for concern. It is unpredictable especially in rainy seasons. In urban areas, the network seem to be dependent on electricity. If power cuts were to occur, the students will have problems in their online studies.
This situation is worse in the rural areas. Some remote areas do not have network boosters. As a result, a student in the rural areas is likely to face more challenges with the new normal.
Access to offline reading and research material.
Studying online means that one does not have to visit the campus library. This poses as a disadvantage to students. They would need resources such as books which are not available online.
This problem was discovered by tknews in an interview with students.At the University of Zimbabwe those who are studying programs like African literature and indigenous languages face problems. These students complained that most African authored texts are not available online. The pandemic has hindered their access of the hard copies in the library.
Internet and all its distractions.
It is a known fact that the internet has many distractions. One may be tempted to look into social media platforms and get hooked for hours. For students, it can be noted that they are easily swayed to those platforms . Students will therefore be encouraged to practice self discipline so that they give time and effort to their work.
Lack of tools.
For a successful e-learning process, there is need for gadgets like smart phones, tablets, computers and or laptops. Research shows that one in five students in Zimbabwe has access to these instruments. This shows that Zimbabwe is not ready for e-learning. There lack of resources. Apart from gadgets, other pivotal ingredients in the e-learning process in internet access. there is also unavailability of reliable network as well as power. These, as afore mentioned, are not reliable and this makes it difficult to make the process of e-learning easy.
Power cuts are real issues which the citizens of Zimbabwe are grappling with everyday. This means that there is shortage of power in the country which makes the process difficult.
Time for adapting to the new normal.
For years, the students have only known the process of education being that of face to face. Most children have learned a lot through the process of listening and watching physically how ttheir teachers and lecturers explained and expounded knowledge. It takes time for the students to normalize the virtual process of learning.
Exclusion of the differently abled child.
How about the visually impaired students as well as the deaf?. These are excluded from the learning process as the country has no resources to cater for their learning.
Loopholes in e-learning itself.
It is a shocking fact that most of the teachers and lecturers are semiliterate in as far as technology is concerned. In an interview with one university student, tknews found out that even the lecturers are also having difficult times in adapting to the new normal. The student told our tknews reporter that she sent her assignment to the lecturers email and after ‘marking’ the lecturer just sent a message telling the girl that she had got a 62 percent on her work. This disappointed the student as she expected the marked using many of the Microsoft office features with will reflect the teacher’s comment and highlighting when and where she got it wrong .
Another loophole in the whole process of e-learning is the advancements in internet features which makes students copy, paraphrase, cut , and paste without a trace of plagiarism.