Research critical for strengthening Zimbabwe’s regulatory systems Dr Machengete

Sifelani Tsiko Innovations Editor

Research can provide critical benefits for the country’s regulatory agencies so that they are more efficient and responsive to the needs of Zimbabweans, Dr Gift Kallisto Machengete, director-general of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has said.

He told participants at a research dissemination workshop for projects supported by POTRAZ and the Research of Zimbabwe Council (RCZ) on Tuesday that evidence based research can have the greatest positive effect on the country’s regulatory processes.

“We have stopped regulating in the dark and moved on to regulating based on research based evidence,” Dr Machengete said.

“Telecommunications is a dynamic field that requires research so that when we regulate, we do so with knowledge. We need our scientists’ input to regulate effectively.”

The workshop sought to engage stakeholders on the findings of two research projects – Assessment of Digital Literacy Among Secondary School Teachers in Zimbabwe and the Child Online Safety Survey carried out by POTRAZ in collaboration with RCZ and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

“The Digital Literacy Assessment Among Secondary School Teachers signifies a concerted effort to enhance digital literacy within our educational landscape. In today’s digital age, equipping educators with the necessary skills is crucial to prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Dr Machengete.

The findings provide valuable insights into the current state of digital literacy among educators, thereby guiding targeted interventions and capacity-building initiatives.

The results of the Child Online Safety Survey addresses issues related to safeguarding the youth in the online environment.

Speaking at the same event, acting executive director of the RCZ Ms Rudo Tamangani said research is an important vehicle for transforming the society.

“Research plays a transformative role in society. This is so because through research we get to understand more about the world and how to live in it sustainably,” she said.

“It is from research that we are able to create new technologies enabling us to live fulfilling lives.”

The RCZ and POTRAZ are collaborating to promote impactful research and innovation to address national challenges and help the country to attain its National Development Strategy 1 goals.

“Let us seize this opportunity to reflect, collaborate, and pave the way towards a future where digital literacy is not just a skill but a fundamental right for all,” said Dr Machengete.

“Together, let us harness the transformative power of digital technologies to empower educators, safeguard our children, and build a brighter future for Zimbabwe.”

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