Partners come together to modernize the education sector

Geneva, Switzerland – September 3, 2020: Headquarters of the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia of UNICEF, a United Nations agency created in 1946 to improve the condition of children around the world.

BY NKOSENTSHA KHUMALO
The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) Zimbabwe has teamed up with various partners to modernize the education sector by modifying the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (Giga) project which aims to connect all schools to Internet.

This was revealed last Thursday in Bulawayo at a business engagement meeting hosted by Unicef ​​at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

One of the initiatives, Zimbabwe Businesses 4 Children (ZB4C) Giga, a joint initiative between the government, Unicef ​​and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is expected to connect all schools to the internet by 2030.

UNICEF representative Tajudeen Oyewale said NewsDay that the platform will also support child development initiatives.

“Our plan is to convene a Businesses 4 Children Council which will serve as a platform to co-create ideas for and with children and advance the child-friendly principle.

“While there are several initiatives and options that we can explore together, I am pleased that the Giga initiative provides a broad platform to advance the current progress that Zimbabwe has made in innovation and education. . For GIGA, we see continued investment and support for clean energy projects. »

Oyewale urged the private sector to support digitization efforts with learning materials and other investments.

Speaking at the same event, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Evelyn Ndlovu, said: “This is the new solution to ensure that children are equipped with 21st century learning skills and can develop the necessary skills that many businesses and societies need. The Learning Passport, which was launched amid and at the height of COVID-19 and school closures, has given over 100,000 learners access to locally developed learning materials as well as to other internationally developed learning resources.

She said the offline server linked to the learning passport would reduce data costs for schools and allow teachers and learners to access thousands of learning resources.

Ndlovu said 150 schools have so far received solar power.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Jenfan Muswere said his ministry was expanding its national e-learning strategy by providing free internet access to
schools.

“Giga’s objective and complement is to provide the required ICT infrastructure for all schools, especially those in remote areas of the country, to enable them to connect to the Internet. Our Internet penetration rate is currently 59% and every effort is being made to reach 100% which access – I believe – is a right and not a privilege hence our interest in this initiative,” Muswere said.

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