STUDENTS from the Midlands States University (MSU) yesterday approached the High Court challenging Government’s move to introduce eLearning during the lock down arguing that most students are failing to afford it.
The university began the lessons on 24 March but students have raised a red flag regarding the effectiveness and accessibility of this mode of teaching platform.
Through their union, Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) the students cited MSU and Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Amon Murwira as first and second respondents.
According to the application before court, the students are seeking for an interim order that suspends undertaking of e-Learning until the stringent conditions attached to it are removed.
“It is ordered that the students of the first respondent(MSU) are entitled to be heard on the efficacy of e-Learning accordingly the unilateral decision to resume lessons through e-Learning during the lockdown period is hereby suspended pending consultation with the students’ representatives,” reads the order being sought for.
Alternatively, the students said in the event that the court upholds the current eLearning initiative, MSU should open its eLearning platforms to its students during the lockdown irrespective of payment of fees and any other financial regimens demanded by the institution as a prerequisite.
According to the supporting founding affidavit of Zinasu president, Allan Moyo he said that investigations done before filing of this application showed that out of 25 000 students enrolled at MSU , only 9 000 were actually registered before the closure of the university.
The students lawyer, Zivanai Makwanya also said rights of thousands of students to proper education is under threat in that many students come from rural areas where there is poor or no cellular coverage or network to enable them to access eLearning.
Makwanya also said it was grossly unfair to the affected students to allow MSU to continue with such a learning platform that is discriminatory in nature.