Approximately 31% of Zimbabwe’s primary and secondary schools have internet access. In rural areas, the majority are connected by ADSL or VSAT. 75% of the country’s 6,611 unconnected schools are primary schools.
Number of connected & unconnected schools: Ministry Of Primary And Secondary Education, Zimbabwe, 2020
Universal expansion to all schools provides a gateway to community connectivity.
Giga is supporting the cost-effective connection of 6,611 schools toward broader digital growth – an estimated GDP growth of +0.6 billion (1.4%).
Public and Private Sector actors have initiatives in place to make digitally enabled education a reality in Zimbabwe
Overcoming the Urban- Rural Digital Divide
Through the national ICT plan the government set the country on a path to become a knowledge-based society targeting ubiquitous connectivity by 2020. Strategic focusses included: closing the digital divide through rural coverage, improved electricity access, ICT skills development and policy streamlining
Ecosystem Investment in Digital Learning
Motivated by the coronavirus pandemic response a number of e-learning platforms have scaled or entered the market.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) has pushed for internet connectivity across all schools in Zimbabwe and has extended support to 6,300 primary and secondary schools with private sector technical partnerships.
Giga has been working with Zimbabwe since February 2020. Some of Giga’s priority areas for collaboration in Zimbabwe include:
Mobilizing the financing to connect the 6,611 schools that currently lack connectivity.
Co-developing sustainable models for improving affordability of connectivity along with potential incentives for successful public-private partnerships
Working with ISPs and MNOs to identify opportunities to reduce data costs for schools and students.
Mapping through Project Connect to identify schools and refine the investment needs for unconnected schools
From schools to communities
Schools are often the centre of communities. Giga hopes to explore sustainable models to use the school as a hub to connect people in the local community. Connecting learners has never been more important than it is now, after schools in Zimbabwe closed in late March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.