Pupils appeal for e-learning related Christmas gifts Shakienicy Chitsa (17) an ‘A’ Level pupil at Machipisa based Missie Christian college

Shepherd Chimururi Youth Interactive Correspondent

Trending fashion, scrumptious eats and other glittering goodies are good Christmas gifts but it is better for parents to give us ICT gadgets as presents. 

This is a broad appeal from e-learning conscious high school who spoke to the Youth Interactive on Christmas eve. The appeal is based on the fact that computers are a long term investment more valuable than one day merry making goodies.

Shakienicy Chitsa (17) an aspiring ‘A’ Level pupil at Machipisa based Missie Christian college categorically stated that at his age eats and fashion are now secondary to his studies. “I am channelling my pocket money to my education resources. Being in an exam class means a lot. No more funny stuff. I need distinctions. Every penny must go to my preparations like a super-fast laptop and unlimited WiFi.

“What does it help to buy clothes for one hundred dollars then spend another fifty on eats and drinks yet you don’t have a laptop?” he asked sarcastically.

Melody Sande, a Lower Sixth pupil at Lamonti High, bemoaned that parents are not yet giving value to e-learning gadgets. 

“When you ask for a laptop they say they don’t have money but on Christmas they are ready to splash lots of money on a one day event. My friends are also complaining. It seems it is a generational thing. I think parents need serious conscientisation. They need to understand that the way they learnt during their years is not the way we are learning. Times have changed. They used to carry big books but in our generation, we just carry a flash or a phone and a laptop at most.”

She added, “Because of the shifting trends caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, our choices as scholars are changing again. Smart e-learning is the in thing which means smart Christmas  gifts as well. It is better to spend the Christmas holiday wearing slips while marvelling your new e-learning gadget than to have new shoes, new hair style and eat fancy food. To all parents I say now is the time to plan and buy smart gadgets for children. 

An investment in an e-learning gadget is an investment into distinctions of the child. Those who had bought slow gadgets this is the time to upgrade as well. They must do that as soon as possible and not wait for the back to school rush. Remember online lessons and revision groups will be happening during the holiday.”

There are other peripherals like mics, headphones and speakers which are very important to students. Obviously you wouldn’t  want to struggle to hear the lecture or what other students will be saying. On the other hand you want to be heard loud and clear also,” said Sande.

Jabulani Ncube, an inspiring medical student waiting for his ‘A’ level results, points out that both ministries of education run a “Buy your Child a Laptop” campaign. 

“If the ministries are involved, maybe that’s when parents can start to take the issue of e-learning seriously. But I think if the President throws a joke on e-learning parents who have a tendency of waiting and acting on government announcements will take action. 

Without that they think you are lying when you go home and say laptops are now very critical to everyday learning. When you say please buy me a new computer for Xmas instead of new shoes and clothes they think you are being rude.”

He continued, “But the reality is e-learning gadgets give me an advantage of researching about scholarships and study materials of the programme that I want to undertake. More so, every profession has some element of e-learning in it.”

The appeal by students will most likely boost the growth of the e-learning industry and the pass rate. It is important to note that the ICT gadget population in students is still very low. By launching a ‘buy your child an ICT gadget’ campaign the country will also be improving on digital literacy rate which is now a critical global indicator of a country’s economy.

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