More than half of learners in Sub-Sahara Africa are being excluded from information communication technology related education due to the absence of electricity and requisite gadgets. This is according to a recent UNESCO Global report.
During a meeting between the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and UNESCO in Harare, findings of the Global Education Monitoring Report of 2020 were deliberated.
Professor Hubert Gijzen, UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa noted how achieving inclusivity in the education sector remains a challenge in most African countries.
“We now have started a new programme that also includes not only ICTs for the schools, but renewable energy by considering that more than 50 percent of schools in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to energy. This is an important pre-condition to reach out to the ones most left behind and that is in the rural and the off grid,” he said.
Mr John Dewah represented the permanent secretary, Mrs Tumisang Thabela at the meeting. Mr John Dewah is Chief Director for Curriculum Development and Technical Services in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
While representing, Dewah said: “The ministry is pre-occupied to ensuring inclusion in education as espoused in the Sustainable Development Goal number 4 which seeks to ensure inclusivity and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.”
“In 2021, the ministry made a budgetary provision under the tuition grand so that no child may fail to access education due to non-payment of fees. Furthermore under the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare the Basic Education Assistance Model (BEAM) also caters for children from poor socio-economic backgrounds. It is a dimension of inclusivity,” said Mr Dewah.
The subject of inclusivity in education is an emotive one globally with the major focus on learners with disabilities and their access to critical infrastructure that includes ICTs.