Students in five of Manicaland’s seven districts last Friday received smart phones and textbooks worth US$900 000 from Family Aids Caring Trust (Fact) Zimbabwe.
The mobile devices and stationery will assist students to catch up on their studies and adequately prepare for their final examinations.
The devices and books will be distributed to primary and secondary schools in Buhera, Chipinge, Makoni, Mutare and Mutasa.
Besides the 8 319 mobile devices that will enable learners to access online and radio lessons, the donation also include 37 836 Ventures Series textbooks for Grades One to Seven, 33 920 Step Ahead Series textbooks for Forms One to Form Four, 5 366 textbooks for Advanced Level (Sciences), 13 262 textbooks for Advanced Level (Commercials) and 15 757 textbooks for Advanced Level (Arts).
The consignment was handed over to Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Mr Edward Shumba, at Fact Mutare’s headquarters last Friday.
Mr Shumba said the donation will go a long way in helping learners access their learning material.
He said learners come from different backgrounds and that they have unique needs which require all relevant players to chip in.
“Since March, many children lost out on their learning time. Even though the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and its partners came up with various interventions to facilitate children’s learning from home, these efforts were affected by the students’ lack of resources.
“The donation has come at the right moment as education in Zimbabwe and the rest of the world is being negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Most children did not have textbooks to use during the radio lessons while others did not have suitable gadgets to access the educational material,” said Mr Shumba.
He said the donation will help in reducing the textbook to pupil ratio, thereby promoting physical distancing.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Fact executive director, Mrs Getrude Shumba said the initiative is critical as it avails tools for learning.
“Keeping orphans and vulnerable children in school is one of our key strategies of ensuring that the children are protected from harsh environments that might expose them to risky behaviour. The Covid-19 pandemic left many children from resource-poor families vulnerable and we do not want these children to drop out of school,” said Mrs Shumba.
— Manica Post