Opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC) has condemned data price hike by telecommunications companies saying it will increase the digital divide between the rich and the poor since children had turned to internet schooling during the coronavirus lockdown.
The party’s Secretary for Education, Advocate Fadzayi Mahere wrote on microblogging site Twitter indicating that the latest hike in data tariffs was likely going to impact on poor families who will not be able to afford the new prices.
“The rising cost of data spells disaster for access to education. The digital divide means the poor have little or no access to online learning. Online classes are too expensive for many who are struggling to make ends meet amid diminished lockdown earnings,” said Mahere
She also said that the price hike of data will do nothing but only harm the education system in the country and this will separate the poor from the rich.
Econet has announced the the hikes with effect from today 5 May which comes in the face of government plans to promote online classes as a safe measure against COVID-19.
Some of the schools have already started online classes to cover for time lost due to unending lockdowns and the latest development flies in the face of such progressive plans.
Government has also announced that pupils could make use of Ruzivo, an Econet run online library to access books to study during lockdown
Econet has hiked data tariffs by as much as 350 percent with its monthly data package of 25 gigabytes which used to cost RTGS400 now costing RTGS1300.
NetOne has also announced its planned data tariff hike which will be effective from 6 May 2020.