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New Initiative ‘Lights’ Up Rural Schools

Learners from over 15 schools in Chiredzi and Mutoko districts are set to access digital resources without data connection thanks to the Rural Light Program, an initiative of a local organisation, Teach For Zimbabwe (TFZ).

By Chamunorwa Matanhike

The Rural Light Program being piloted at Kowo Primary and Bondamakara High in Mutoko district, Mashonaland East will also be extended to Chikomo, Mwenje, Mukwanise and Chipiwa primary schools.

Teach for Zimbabwe (TFZ) Chief Executive Officer, Mirriam Farai Jabangwe-Siwela said Rural Light Program seeks to give learners in marginalized communities access to educational material via a wired and wireless Local Area Network.

“Educational resources are uploaded to the Rural Light Servers. These resources include documentaries, cartoons, movies, books, educational videos and applications to bring that internet experience without the need of data connection,” said Jabangwe-Siwela.

According to Jabangwe-Siwela, learners can access the digital resources through computers, laptops and mobile phones using the Local Area Network without any data connection.

The servers are able to connect up to sixty devices at once within a thirty-metre radius.

Chiredzi District Schools Inspector, Petronella Nyangwe called Rural Light Program a great intervention to marginalized learners.

“This is going to be a great intervention in our schools in rural areas without access to internet connections.

“This will enhance access to reading and study material to marginalized learners who would otherwise miss out on such learning opportunities only because of their background,” she added.

Tracy Maguze, head of one of the beneficiary schools said the initiative will enable them to easily assess learners while motivating to work hard in school.

“As Kowo Primary we feel honored to have our school picked as one of the selected schools where the program is being piloted. We are on a high note, celebrating as a school. This is like a dream, a dream that came true.”

Maguze said that the program is going to make easy Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) and improve the motivation of learners which will result in improved pass rate.

“The issue of CALA is made easy. Learners will gather data easily for researched areas.”

“Learners are going to be motivated hence eager to learn. Definitely pass rate will increase due to the quality of teaching offered,” she added.

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