By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
Owing to the lockdown most schools are resorting to conducting lessons online which has come with its fair share of challenges and this has prompted a local technology organisation to come up with an initiative to address some of the hurdles.
Radio VOP recently interviewed Dzidzo Inhaka Audio Visual Learning Centre executive director Shepherd Chimururi who said his organisation has realised that there is a yawning digital gap among teachers and students which cause for a strategy to ensure that e-learning can be necessitated smoothly.
“We came up with initiative after realising that most teachers lack the requisite digital skills to effectively conduct online lessons since it is not adequately catered for in their teaching course ,”explained Chimururi.
According to the tech expert,the initiative has so far trained over 200 primary school teachers on various skills on using Whatsapp ,which is the most easily accessible platform, to conduct online lessons.
“We basically empower over 200 primary school teachers with skills and strategies to teach their pupils via the most popular social media platform, Whatsapp, in a effort to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The Dzidzo Inhaka Audio Visual Learning Centre boss said some of the strategies and skills include considering planning, timing, engagement with parents and captivating presentation styles on online lessons so that they can be effective .
“So in our trainings we teach teacher to devise strategies on planning, the best time for conducting online lessons and how to engage parents about online lessons.
“The teachers are also equipped with vibrant content presentation skills and soft-wares that they can use to mark online written work among many other skills ,”added Chimururi.
Chimururi confirmed that the trainings are being done both physically and virtually while observing the World Health Organisations(WHO)guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
“The trainings are being done physically and virtually but we are observing social distancing ,wearing of masks and practising good personal hygiene as a preventative measure against the deadly virus,” he highlighted.
The national lockdown has presented challenges to the education sector as schools remain closed hence the surge in online lessons which however come at a cost as Zimbabwe is one of the country in the world and Southern Africa which has the highest data tariffs.