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The Government of Zimbabwe has taken a major step to improve the quality of education through the implementation of a solar project. The program seeks to power rural schools to provide learners with relevant, inclusive, and sustainable education.
Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is implementing the solar project in partnership with UNICEF. The US$2 million project is funded by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).
Under the project, solar power-based electricity will be supplied to 150 schools in the remote regions of six districts in the country. This project is in line with the government’s initiative to provide internet access to all schools by 2030.
The project helped the Ngaone Primary School in Chipinge town in Manicaland Province to get equipped with an 8kV solar PV system. The $24,000 system powers the school’s ICT lab, administration blocks, and teachers’ campus.
According to the teachers, the provision of solar energy will help the students to grasp the use of ICTs and improve their access to digital learning platforms once the internet connectivity of the school is complete. With reliable solar power, the learners will get an extra amount of time for computer lab classes.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s Communications and Advocacy Director, Taungana Ndoro, mentioned the solarization project as a significant step toward the fulfillment of the Government’s digital learning strategy. The e-learning strategy launched last year aims to quicken the adoption of ICT through the development of internet connectivity in schools.
“The next step is to have internet connectivity at the schools and then their e-learning becomes robust because they have the backbone through internet and electricity,” Ndoro commented.
FCDO’s Education Advisor, Tanya Zebroff, said the program would improve the teaching environment in the beneficiary schools. The solarization of 150 schools is expected to get completed by March 2023.