COVID–19 Pandemic: Its Impact on Universities and Schools in Zimbabwe

  • Stephen Mahere University of Zimbabwe

Abstract

The study sought to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on universities and schools in Zimbabwe. The investigation adopted qualitative research design utilising documentary research analysis. Telephone interviews and interviews conducted over WhatsApp social media platforms were the data-collection instruments. Population of the study comprised students and teachers in schools and universities. Findings revealed that COVID–19 had a significant impact on the teaching / learning of students. Universities and some schools adopted online learning during lockdowns. COVID 19-induced switch-over from face-to-face teaching to ICT-based teaching, resulted in universities and schools being exposed to alternative ways of teaching and learning. In universities, students were taught using a blended teaching mode comprising on-line and face-to-face teaching. COVID-19 created opportunities for lecturers to engage in further research. Some universities set up Task Forces that facilitated compliance with WHO COVID-19 protocols, and Ministry of Health guidelines. Schools conducted lessons on a rotational basis. Boarding schools reduced enrolments to enhance social distancing. Online learning was not accessible to all students. The switch-over gave rise to high costs of data bundles, computer hardware and software-related problems. Some students on industrial attachment failed to secure placements or had their contracts prematurely-terminated as some companies had ceased operating. In schools, some students missed out on teaching / learning. In well-resourced schools, students continued learning, reaching their teachers on-line. The study urged university leaders and school principals to embrace COVID-19 as an 'educational change' that offers opportunities to enhance innovation, and create a more positive teaching / learning environment.

Author Biography

Stephen Mahere, University of Zimbabwe

Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Administration and Leadership

Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1013-3445