Dokora defends use of tablets in schools

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PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora on Thursday defended the use of smartphones and tablets for learning purposes in schools, saying Zimbabwe should move with technological advances.

by VENERANDA LANGA

Dokora was appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Arts, Sport and Culture chaired by Shurugwi South MP Tapiwanashe Matangaidze where he argued smart phones would empower and not endanger schoolchildren.

MDC-T proportional representation MP Nicola Watson asked Dokora to explain if allowing children to use smart phones or tablets during classes would not result in them accessing pornographic material or even failing to concentrate on their studies.

“When we were children ,these innovations were not there and we used to draw shapes and diagrams on the sand, but smart phones are now mini-computers and children can do different assignments using them, or even Google for information,” he said.

“A school like Harare High School has a ZOL WiFi mast and it means WiFi is available throughout the perimeter fence of the school and it can be useful for learning purposes.”

Dokora said there would not be any opportunity for children to access pornographic material during lessons using such technology because teachers would be responsible for giving them access codes and monitoring any signs of abuse.

“Every teacher who will give an assignment on Google will give an access code and pornographic sites will be off limit. At the end of the day, the teacher will have a profile of what every child had been doing and if there was an attempt to go on pornographic sites, it can be recorded and reported to parents,” he said.

“Schools have controlling environments. Previously, we used to have voice phones, but now computer and cellphone technology has developed to the extent it can carry data such as graphic images using phones.

“Computers now appear in the market as laptops, tablets and smart phones — and if you say a child should not use a smart phone, but they can use a laptop, it does not make sense as they now have the same functions.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. In a country where school children have problems accessing schools through government enhanced poverty ,talking about the use of smartphones and tablets for learning purposes in schools, is as pointless as telling a starving man what he could eat in a restaurant when he has no money to purchase food ,First provide schools ,then provide pen and paper ,lastly provide teachers that can teach .Now all this will still be null and void as long as your government cannot provide jobs for our citizens so they can pay school fees .

  2. the honorable minister should explain how teachers can monitor pupil if the pupils google using cellphone lines?

  3. Comrade Minister, as much as this is a good initiative, i think it will create unnecessary competition to school children. We may not rule out the fact that some school children might spend much of their time on social network as well. i think we need to take this new technology one step at a time.

  4. let us be open minded access to pornographic material is not because of the internet it is due the mind set of the child who is already corrupted, we should be able to train our kids to sham such material. there are ways to block such websites on a particular network sorry for using the wrong terminology. the internet is a vital tool in today’s generation and should made available to students. I learn outside Zimbabwe and i met students from back home having difficulties doing their assignments online and accessioning electronic databases. lets try to make ourselves move with time.

  5. There goes this dump Dokora..again, smoking and smoking and not looking at the big picture!! MPs can’t even afford a decent life and now you expect school kids to have smart shit and ipads??? Come on Dofo Dokora, children want class rooms, books, food, teachers and other resources!!! What happened to the computers that His HE donated to schools many times? Set up computer labs first…step by step. Don’t get over excited with your imagination Mr Minister Sir!!

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