Cabinet on Tuesday resolved that schools must remain closed as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education prepares for the safe reopening of learning institutions.
Cabinet also took a position to accelerate the provision of the internet in schools as it implements the national e-learning strategy.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said the government has joined development partners in the rollout of the e-learning strategy to ensure that all pupils have access to e-learning. Said Mutsvangwa:
The national e-learning programme will be complemented by the UNICEF GIGA Schools Connectivity Project.
The project, which is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic by UNICEF and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has the following pillars: raising funding for schools’ connectivity; mapping the connectivity status of every school; connecting the unconnected and poorly connected schools to the internet; and linking connected schools and young people to digital public goods that provide job skills and remote working opportunities, among other benefits.
The overall objective of GIGA in Zimbabwe is to connect every school to the internet and afford every young person access to information. The GIGA project will be rolled out in all provinces.
GIGA is a global initiative to connect every school to the internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice.
Mutsvangwa said Cabinet also resolved that Information Communication Centres would start providing free internet services to promote e-learning and e-commerce. She said:
In addition to the provision of free access to internet services at Community Information Centres and Community Village Information Centres, Government will meet all operational expenses, inclusive of staff remuneration.
Taking into cognisance the financial hardships brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, Cabinet wishes to advise the citizenry that all students, pupils and the general public using these facilities will enjoy free access to internet services at Community Information Centres and Community Village Information Centres for a period of nine months.