The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) is against plans by most institutions of higher learning to roll out e-learning programmes during the 21-day lockdown.
In a statement, the student representatives’ body said the move is discriminatory as some students have no access to internet facilities. The statement read in part:
It is a very noble idea indeed, however, the vast majority of students have no access to reliable electricity and network connections considering that only 41% of Zimbabwe has access to electricity as stated by the national electricity suppliers (ZETDC) and an even smaller share has access to mobile networks.
ZINASU also cited the high cost of data as another challenge that will make it difficult for some students to adapt to the e-learning model.
To those with access to both, electricity and mobile networks, the prices of data are way beyond the reach of many, considering that one webinar costs around $100 which is a good fraction of the earnings of a civil servant.