All schools shall remain closed as directed-Education Minister – The Independent Observer

Minister of General Education David Mabumba has said that all schools shall remain closed as directed by President Edgar Lungu.

Dr Mabumba, however, stated that government has introduced measures to ensure learners continue to learn during this period when schools have been closed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Mabumba said this at a joint media briefing today with ECZ, ZNBC, Zamtel, and Topstar.

“My Ministry has put up intervention measures such as TV platform to show video supplementary lessons as well as radio-based supplementary lessons. These lessons will also be used in various community schools in underserved areas of the country,” Dr. Mabumba said.

The Education Minister disclosed that his Ministry has introduced E-Learning and Smart Revision platforms to provide supplementary lessons to learners and
self-instructional modules for junior and senior secondary schools in print format.

Dr. Mabumba reaffirmed that his Ministry realizes the various challenges faced by both the learners and teachers throughout the country noting that not all households have television sets in their homes.

He has noted with concern that some rural areas are not served with electricity and not all households with television sets have top star decoders.

Dr. Mabumba also noted that while ZAMTEL has zero-rated access to the E-Learning portal, most learners, especially in rural areas, do not have gadgets such as smartphones and computers to access education through E-learning.

He stressed that it is against this background that the Ministry of General Education has developed self-instructional study modules, the printing educational materials for all learners to enable them to access education.

“While we realize that there are some challenges in using technology in the teaching and learning processes, it is equally important to note that these problems are surmountable especially if we work together as stakeholders,” he added.

Dr. Mabumba has since implored parents and guardians to provide their children with the required tools and guidance to access education which the Ministry is providing.

He further implored other cooperating partners to come on board by addressing some of the challenges such as providing solar panels to rural areas, providing tablets to some schools, donating Topstar decoders, and printing of self-study modules.

Meanwhile, Zamtel Director-General Sydney Mupeta disclosed that 20000 pupils are currently accessing education through the ZAMTEL platform.

Mr. Mupeta has also pledged that his firm shall continue working with the Government by addressing any challenges that will come on the platform they are offering E-learning.

And Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation Director General Mulolela Lusambo explained that with the coming of digital migration the national broadcaster has been able to facilitate the opening of the fourth ZNBC channel.

He said ZNBC 4 is an Educational channel that ran every day for free on Topstar from 7 hours to 20 hours to help educate the school children while at home when schools have been closed during this corona pandemic period.

And Topstar acting CEO Brooklyn Lui Yiugnan says that his firm will also continue to partner with Government to help provide services that benefit the country during the period.

He added that it is for this reason that Topstar has reduced the price of its decoders.

Government through the Ministry of General Education is providing the links and channels for accessing education on https//e-learning.co.zm https//www.smart revision.co.zm
channel 4 on ZNBC television