TelOne’s thrust and vision of creating a digitally-enabled society by 2023 is in tandem with Government’s aspiration of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle income society by 2030, and the institution will support to offer a fertile environment for creation of more revolutionary ideas.
This was said by Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere during the 6th TelOne Centre for Learning graduation ceremony in Harare recently.
He said TelOne’s initiatives were also in sync Zimbabwe’s latest blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1, which runs from 2021 to 2025.
“Several life-changing initiatives in health, transport and education sectors have been launched by TelOne this year. Such a broad-based approach to tackling day-to-day challenges has helped to create a conducive environment for innovation in our students,” said Dr Muswere.
“I am proud of the work that the TelOne team is doing at this college. It supports our Government’s drive to have technology as a key enabler for growth towards vision 2030, as envisioned by our President Cde E.D. Mnangagwa.
“As a ministry, we are therefore making sure that TelOne Centre for Learning offers a conducive environment for the ideation, incubation and implementation of innovative ideas which are transformative in nature.”
Through innovation, the iMPACT Learning platform — a virtual learning platform — was developed by TelOne and was launched in August by Dr Muswere.
It was developed by the TelOne team together with some former students who have since been employed as software developers within the institution.
The e-learning platform enables learners to take their courses and examinations online and to interact with their lecturers virtually throughout the course.
The development helps particularly at this point when the world is being ravaged by Covid-19 and one of the regulations to minimise its spread and maintaining social distancing.
Over 3 700 students used the virtual learning system to continue learning and sit for examinations at the height of the Covid-19 induced lockdowns.
Dr Muswere urged learning institutions to adopt the iMPACT Learning platform for their students to continue with their classes remotely.
He added that Zimbabwe gears for the implementation of NDS1 from next year, Government has placed special focus on the growth of ICTs to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy.
“For us to achieve an e-enabled economy and enhanced use of ICTs, we expect ICT Centres of Excellence such as this college to rise up and help us achieve this key initiative through agility and adapting to digital and innovative trends as they change.
“I am proud that TCFL complements Government in this way. As you may be aware our ministry adopted different key strategies in pursuit of the national agenda and these include the implementation of e-Government Strategy and Policy guidelines, design and implementation of ICT policies that promote ICTs, the implementation of smart solutions and the roll-out of broadband.
“I encourage us to note that ICT skills development is for everyone; old and young, man and women alike. I have been made aware that the percentage of female students taking ICT courses has been increasing over the past five years,” said Dr Muswere.
Due to the fast-paced growth of the Internet of Things, Government is making deliberate efforts to align local ICT skills development with both the current and future technology trends.
The TCFL’s curriculum speaks to global trends in new skills requirements. High-speed connectivity, artificial intelligence, Big data analytics, cloud computing, and Internet of Things are some of the skills that are in demand for the future of work.
At least 132 students graduated with Diplomas in Telecommunications last week.
In response to the National Skills Gap report, TelOne has over the years been introducing industry-relevant programs to equip the next generation of national manpower.
Through Education 5.0, Government has made it a policy that the institutions of higher learning become hubs for innovation, and TelOne’s model appears more complete as it involves an end-to-end approach to new products development.