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Zanzibar sees new dawn in digital literacy

EDUCATION has evolved from the conventional classroom experience, particularly with the coming of creative initiatives around digital literacy.

In recent times, digital literacy has fast become the primary form of information transfer and communication, taking over from letters, phone calls and even face-to-face interaction. Business transactions without face-to-face contact would have been rare twenty years ago.

It is also a key to teaching in order to provide the skills, knowledge and understanding for young people to enter the workplace, further education and higher education. Creative, collaborative and recordable communications techniques are essential for the next generation to interact in social, cultural, economic and intellectual careers and life.

It also improves student engagement and aids teachers by introducing a new and advanced digital learning experience in the classroom. In twenty years from now, perhaps the reverse will be the case. But for today, learners/pupils need to be taught now which tools are effective and how to use them responsibly.

And the only way to achieve this is by providing teacher training or teacher education. The need for quality education with the use of modern technology cannot be overemphasized and it is against this backdrop that the Revolutionary government of Zanzibar decided to include this special component in capacity building for the practitioners.

Teachers hold the key to making a true difference in the educational systems. The overall objective of the training program was to strengthen the teacher’s competencies at the grassroots level on the use of technologies to facilitate teaching and learning process.

The Zanzibar Deputy Minister for Education and Vocational Training Zanzibar, Simai Mohammed Said unveiled here that the government in collaboration with private sector has been fully engaged in improving educational infrastructure to make it march with fast advancing era of science and technology.

The Deputy Minster stressed, when officially opening a workshop on Robotics at the Chief Government Statistician Hall in Mzizini here, that the whole world has turned digital hence the education system in Zanzibar also needs to adapt to that by itself going digital.

“Due this urgent call, we have to embrace the digital advancement for sustainable development,” he explained. Adding the technological advancement has also seen an increase of people with people well trained in the technological and other professions that involve high tech knowledge.

Adding, he said: “To enable us cope with technology there is a need for us to prepare good environment that will enable us cope with the fast advancing world of science and technology”. Honourable Simai said as the world is now moving fast ahead in science and technology, Zanzibar can let itself be on looker.

The director of Technology, Communication and Vocation Training Department, Zanzibar, Mr Omar Said Ali said the workshop aims to see how the Robotics can increase knowledge, creativity in engineering and mathematics.

The fruitful workshop is the results of a tour of the deputy Minister, Simai in Botswana in August this year and during his visit he learned how a digital-tech company called Shape Robotics successfully conducted modern technology learning in that country of southern Africa.

He says he invited them and in cooperation with various stakeholders and the government institutions they organised the workshop. The main target according to the deputy minister is to start a pilot project before the knowledge is imparted country-wise and later at the continental level.

Education is the key to the future-and we all know technology is unavoidable. Therefore let’s teach the present generation the benefits of technology and also find the advantages of bringing in technology as a learning aspect.

It will be a change for Africa 1063990012because technologies like robotics will shape a wide variety of employment opportunities. It will contribute to the future-you won’t only just adopt, you will be raising the future entrepreneurs and problem solvers.

Transform Africa with the most precious resource you have: Children and education. Let’s have young minds be able to have the opportunity of being part of the revolution. According to the experts, robotics can solve a lot of problems and jobs in the future, but we have to create the code and master the machine.

This requires skills in programming and technology. When learning how to create a prototype that can solve an everyday problem, the children learn to be innovative and problem-solving. They learn what they have to master to invent. This can speed up a lot of processes too, and free hands that can do more important jobs.

But, there some challenges by bringing technology into education in Zanzibar and even in Africa, but the most notable is how to cope with it as students need the relevant skills and tools required to work with innovation, sustainable development and entrepreneurship.

So the key to overcome these challenges is to understand and accept the need of change and finance it. Making sure people understand and accept the value and long term benefit of current technology is important. Coming with altogether is the Agenda 2063, which aims to create a master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

Therefore, Zanzibar, like the rest of the world, needs people centered development, gender equality and youth empowerment. And a good number of people are adapting to the idea of technology in Education. What noted in the recent years include the technology camps which are rising and attended in larger numbers people.

In Zanzibar too, girls are also encouraged and motivated to engage in this tech revolution more than before. As the Deputy Minister said by putting the learner at the centre of the educational experience and including technology in the curriculum, believes Zanzibar can part of the conversation of development.

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