Michell Zvanyanya, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT seeks to establish smart classrooms in primary schools in the country to promote a sustainable computer education programme in the institutions, a senior official has said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs Tumisang Thabela, said this while addressing delegates during the Secretary’s Merit award handover ceremony at Emganwini Primary School in Bulawayo yesterday.
Smart classrooms are a form of computer labs where students have access to E-learning programmes.
The ceremony ran under the theme “Catch them young as we strive for quality education and excellence.”
The Ministry partnered with FBC Bank to donate e-learning equipment consisting of 45 laptops, a standard projector, an interactive board and a white board for the smart classroom.
The school received RTGS$10 000 prize money for development from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
Mrs Thabela said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) learning is in line with the Ministry’s institutionalised E-learning programme in schools as a tool for effective teaching and learning.
She said digital learning will help equip learners with competency skills that will contribute to economic industrialisation and transformation.
“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has a mandate of preparing learners for the future and equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge that will help them operate in an increasingly competitive environment. We have thus embarked on an exercise set to promote massive embracing of digital and electronic driven teaching and learning in all our institutions,” Mrs Thabela said.
“There is a need for all primary schools to have smart classrooms to help learners effectively research, innovate and connect with other learners in a different context that will enhance their learning experience. This is a strategy that will ensure that our learners are equipped with requisite competency and skills that will in the end help the country source its economic transformation.”
Mrs Thabela urged schools to work together with the Government to fully implement its E-learning programme, saying economic development is determined by the extent to which science and technology skills are embraced in the country.
The Permanent Secretary expressed concern over some of the negative impacts of technology in the community and highlighted that the Ministry will ensure that learners are equipped with critical thinking skills of detecting harmful information spread by technology.
She said there is a need for teachers to produce skills-oriented learners who are able to apply the knowledge they acquire from their institutions.
“Our learners should not acquire knowledge without applying it. The Ministry’s mandate is to prepare learners for the future and equip them with the necessary skills for them to be creative and innovative.
The new curriculum requires teachers to equip learners with exit skills such as problem solving, leadership, communication, leadership and technological skills,” said Mrs Thabela.
Emganwini Primary school last won the Secretary’s Merit Award in 2005. — @michellzvanyanyan2