Former Information and Communication Technology minister Nelson Chamisa says Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora’s remarks that schoolchildren should be allowed to use gadgets such as cellphones and tablets was akin to a “terrorism” campaign.
BY Edgar Gweshe
Dokora sparked controversy early this month when he said technological gadgets were essential for schoolchildren and would not affect the country’s education system.
Dokora said Zimbabweans should not fight technology after he was questioned by Senators who argued that if permitted, the use of cellphones in schools would promote such ills as pornography.
But speaking at a roundtable discussion on Zimbabwe’s impending Cyber Security Bill organised by the Media Centre in Harare on Thursday, Chamisa said Dokora’s remarks bordered on terrorism.
“I dread Minister Dokora’s views and I think those views border on terrorism. The cellphone is a tool, but can also be a weapon. It’s almost like giving a knife to a child. They can use it as a weapon against themselves and I think we have a duty to protect our children,” said Chamisa.
He said after Dokora’s remarks, he was perturbed that some “old women in Parliament” seemed to be for the idea of cellphone use in schools while disregarding the fact that it had the potential of compromising children’s uprightness by exposing them to ills such as pornography.
“He is wrong. I think the problem is he got to use the tools at an advanced age. These are tools not designed to terrorise young minds. Why should you give alcohol to a Christian? I think it’s very wrong. We should protect our children from the use of cellphones in classrooms,” said Chamisa.
Information and technology expert Chris Musodza, who was part of the presenters at the discussion, said Dokora was misguided.
“A mobile device is now much more and to give them to schoolchildren would be dangerous. Think of things such a pornography,” said Musodza.
Dokora torched controversy again this month when he said that parents were free to pack condoms for their children in school bags.