Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is supporting the e-learning programmes by providing six months of free subscription to several rural schools under this programme.
POTRAZ came over during this period of lockdown caused by the global pandemic of COVID-19, whereas students are forcibly engaged in e-learning to continue with their studies digitally. POTRAZ is firstly targeting remote schools which received computers but they do not have access to the internet connection, so they want to deploy the internet service providers to fix the internet connections and they will pay for the first six months then the schools will proceed with the payments afterwards.
After the official opening of the Chinotimba Information Center held in Victoria Falls on 24 July 2020, the POTRAZ Director Postal and Courier Services, Kennedy Dewere said that the programme is funded by the POTRAZ under the Universal Service Fund, the payments will be done to rural schools which received computers, but they do not have fixed internet connectivities which are the main component of e-learning, therefore the programme will pay for six months only.
In this regard, POTRAZ realized that most there are more than 4,000 computers distributed in approximately 400 schools across the country, so the programme is aimed to improve the digital skills in-line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to provide the internet access which improves the efficiency of information and communications technology.ZARNET, the government-owned internet service provider, is also involved in this e-learning programme, helping 800 schools across the country.
The telecommunications company has done its best to promote the e-learning programme in Zimbabwe by paying at least six-month internet subscription for each school under the programme. However, the lockdown continuity will probably ruin this programme since most schools are shut and the subscriptions will also expire.