By Shingirai Vambe
Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) through its corporate social responsibility has donated 90 laptops to various schools in Makoni district.
This past weekend, the regulator with the support from Telecomms giants Telone, Netone and Zimpost handed 30 laptops each to 3 schools in Makoni. They also donated food hampers to some vulnerable villagers.
Earlier on, POTRAZ officially handed over solar powered boreholes bringing a huge sigh of relief to villagers who used to walk more than 15 km to fetch clean water with a close sources of water being unsafe to drink.
Villagers who spoke to Post On Sunday this Saturday were very grateful of the support, especially with laptops that help bridge the rural-urban digital divide.
Marvellous Chisemburo told this publication that she hopes the initiative will also consider building more schools in the area.
“We are very grateful of this initiative, giving primary school children a good start, however, there is need for another school in ward 24 of Makoni west District both primary and secondary as some if not 60 percent of the school is walking a distance in excess of 16km to and from school daily,” said Chisemburo.
Guest of honour who officially opened computer laboratories, Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Jenfan Muswere donated 100 bags of cement to each of the three schools, Chamakumbu Sec, Nerwande Pri and Chemarima Sec School respectively.
POTRAZ receive funds under the Universal Service Fund, which it is using to uplift the digital skills of students, access to information of people in marginalised places as well as adult literacy through Community Information Centres around the country.
Other villagers highlighted on the challenges with network in some areas, which Netone Cellular together with other players promised to improve coverage through infrastructure sharing and for every citizen to at least get fair mobile voice and data connectivity from wherever they are.
Makoni West villagers appreciated the gesture by POTRAZ while bemoaning state of the economy in the country where they are failing to pay US $20 per term for a single child, having some parents withdrawing their children from school or work at the school as part of the fees.
“This is a milestone achievement for us as a people, as parents, we have been honoured. at least our children can now catch up with others in the digital age, even us as adults, it’s an opportunity that we didn’t get and POTRAZ did this for our children, we really appreciate,” said Simon who attended the official hand over of laptops at Nerwande Primary School.
Meanwhile, as the country prepares for elections this year, majority in that part of the district interviewed by this publication don’t know the duties of a member of parliament and councillor they vote for.
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