Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru Launches Tele-education Program

VP Mujuru launches Tele-education programme

Thursday, 12 April 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

ACTING President Joice Mujuru yesterday launched the Tele-education programme at the University of Zimbabwe that was established with the assistance of India.

The programme marks the third phase of Government’s computerisation programme for the education sector.

The launch was attended by senior Government officials and India’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Jeitendra Tripathi.

Acting President Mujuru commended the Indian government for the assistance in setting up the programme.

She said Zimbabwe was committed to providing quality education.

“I would like to acknowledge that this milestone would not have materialised today if it were not for the assistance and goodwill of our co-operating partner in this joint venture, the government of the Republic of India,” she said.

The programme is being co-ordinated by the Modernisation Department in the Office of the President and Cabinet working in conjunction with the Ministries of Higher and Tertiary Education, Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development and Information Communication Technology.

Acting President Mujuru commended President Mugabe for leading the computerisation of the education sector. “Government embarked on the computerisation programme in the education sector spearheaded by His Excellency the President, as the first phase towards transforming Zimbabwe into an information and knowledge-based society,” she said.

“The computerisation initiative has benefited over 1 000 schools in all provinces countrywide.”

The second phase of the programme, the e-learning programme, was launched by President Mugabe at Chogugudza Primary School in Domboshawa, Mashonaland East, last month.

Acting President Mujuru challenged tertiary institutions in the country to follow Government’s lead in embracing new information communication technologies.

“I challenge you all to think seriously about reconfiguring your service delivery mechanisms to fit the digital world,” she said.

“This calls for innovative and creative minds and indeed a paradigm shift, as we strive to maintain our world-class education system.”

The first phase of the Tele-education programme will start with the establishment of a 40-seater computer laboratory that is networked to five Indian universities.

The universities are Indira Gandhi National Open University, Amity University, University of Madras, University of Delhi and BITS Pilani University. The laboratory will also be networked to other universities in Africa.

The programme includes the installation of Tele-education content and provision of Internet connectivity that will enable lecturers and students to search for information.

“It also provides the ability for different institutions of higher learning to jointly research and work other projects on line,” said Acting President Mujuru.

“In addition, the programme will lead to the development of tele-learning Internet infrastructure that will enable the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to interact with its institutions of higher learning and other colleges countrywide through broadband Internet connectivity.”

Cde Mujuru said the Tele-education programme will also enable the development of web-based applications for universities, colleges, research institutions, nursing schools and primary and secondary schools.

“It will also facilitate the use of other administrative software applications such as students and library management systems which will enable the students to access online books as well as reserving and borrowing books online,” she said.

“Put simply, this project will change the face of learning in Zimbabwe and I urge all concerned to ensure expeditious implementation of the same.”

She said Zimbabweans acquitted themselves well in various fields of specialisation all over the world.

“They have made us proud and will continue to do so, as long as we continue to be innovative and creative and keep pace with advancement within our region and internationally,” she said.

“This can be guaranteed through periodic updates of our curriculum, creativity and innovation. The adoption of information technology as an integral component of our curriculum is therefore in line with our vision of keeping our education system current.”
Ambassador Tripathi said his Government was willing to co-operate with Zimbabwe in various fields.

“India and Zimbabwe have good relations and India, just like Zimbabwe, suffered the oppression of colonialism,” he said. “We are ready to offer and share our experiences with the people of Zimbabwe.”

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