FULL TEXT: PTUZ Condemns Intended Introduction of TV and Radio Lessons For School Pupils Without Planning

The efficacy of TV and Radio lessons has never been in doubt where it is done properly. However, with the collapse of CDU in Zimbabwe, inaccessibility of several areas to both TV and radio receptivity, lack of adequate engagement of teachers, and absence of both functional radios and TVs in several homesteads, it is doubtful that this can be successfully implemented in Zimbabwe at this historical juncture.

Unicef and Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education are reportedly at an advanced stage in introducing TV and Radio lessons to Zimbabwean students.

While the idea is certainly good it is unfortunate there has not been adequate consultations with both educators and students and this would seriously affect practical implementation.

We are aware that the Ministry wants to justify the use of donor funds (UNICEF funds), but let it be warned that hap hazardous meddling and muddling have never produced good results.

Any reforms in the education system must realise the centrality of those nearer the classroom if ever there is to be some modicum degree of success.

There is virtually no baseline survey on students with access to radios, let alone televisions. In a country where the majority of students have no access to radios, let alone TVs it remains to be seen how UNICEF and the Ministry would navigate this quandary.

Worse still, it is students from poor families that have no access to both radio and TV that would be affected most. We are aware of neo-liberal policies camouflaged as e-learning and its long intended goal of cutting personnel in the education sector.

We hope the government would not try to use current COVID 19 and lockdown to experiment with such a diagnosis that treats the disease by killing the patient.

No technology can replace a teacher in the education system. Any good intervention in schools must certainly involve teachers, who still remain scattered throughout the length and breadth of Zimbabwe.

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