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    block this user Jill Jameson

    Professor

    University of Greenwich
    Centre for Leadership and Enterprise

    The digital abyss in Zimbabwe

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    Just as refugees fleeing to escape Zimbabwe have struggled to cross the crocodile-hungry waters of the Limpopo, so are Zimbabweans battling to find ways to traverse the abyss of a digital divide affecting their country. In 2008-09, Zimbabwe was rated third worst in the world for its national information communications technology (ICT) capability by the World Economic Forum, being ranked at 132/134 nations on the global ICT networked readiness index. Digital divide issues, including severe deficits in access to new technologies facing this small Sub-Saharan country, are therefore acute. In terms of global power relations involving ICT capability, Zimbabwe has little influence in any world ranking of nations. A history of oppression, economic collapse, mismanagement, poverty, disease, corruption, discrimination, public sector breakdown and population loss has rendered the country almost powerless in ICT terms. Applying a critical social theory methodology and drawing on Freirean conceptions of critical pedagogy to promote emancipation through equal access to e-learning, this chapter is written in two parts. In the first place, it analyzes grim national statistics relating to education and to the digital divide in Zimbabwe, situating these in the wider context of Africa; in the second part, the chapter applies this information in a practical fictional setting to imagine life through the eyes of an average Zimbabwean male farm worker called Themba, recounting through narrative an example of the impact on one persons life that could result from, firstly, a complete lack of educational and ICT resources for adults in a rural farming situation and, secondly, new opportunities as a migrant to become engaged with adult and higher education, including ICT training and facilities. Access to education, to book publications, to ICT facilities, in dialogue with others during a long process of conscientization, are seen to open up democratising and liberating opportunities for Themba in South Africa. The powerful transformation that takes place Thembas life and propels him towards many achievements as an e-learning teacher is inspired by Freires critical pedagogy: it provides a message of hope in an otherwise exceptionally bleak educational and technological situation, given the current difficult socio-economic and political situation that has resulted in a digital abyss in Zimbabwe.

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    Description

    Title : The digital abyss in Zimbabwe
    Author(s) : Jill Jameson
    Abstract : Just as refugees fleeing to escape Zimbabwe have struggled to cross the crocodile-hungry waters of the Limpopo, so are Zimbabweans battling to find ways to traverse the abyss of a digital divide affecting their country. In 2008-09, Zimbabwe was rated third worst in the world for its national information communications technology (ICT) capability by the World Economic Forum, being ranked at 132/134 nations on the global ICT networked readiness index. Digital divide issues, including severe deficits in access to new technologies facing this small Sub-Saharan country, are therefore acute. In terms of global power relations involving ICT capability, Zimbabwe has little influence in any world ranking of nations. A history of oppression, economic collapse, mismanagement, poverty, disease, corruption, discrimination, public sector breakdown and population loss has rendered the country almost powerless in ICT terms. Applying a critical social theory methodology and drawing on Freirean conceptions of critical pedagogy to promote emancipation through equal access to e-learning, this chapter is written in two parts. In the first place, it analyzes grim national statistics relating to education and to the digital divide in Zimbabwe, situating these in the wider context of Africa; in the second part, the chapter applies this information in a practical fictional setting to imagine life through the eyes of an average Zimbabwean male farm worker called Themba, recounting through narrative an example of the impact on one persons life that could result from, firstly, a complete lack of educational and ICT resources for adults in a rural farming situation and, secondly, new opportunities as a migrant to become engaged with adult and higher education, including ICT training and facilities. Access to education, to book publications, to ICT facilities, in dialogue with others during a long process of conscientization, are seen to open up democratising and liberating opportunities for Themba in South Africa. The powerful transformation that takes place Thembas life and propels him towards many achievements as an e-learning teacher is inspired by Freires critical pedagogy: it provides a message of hope in an otherwise exceptionally bleak educational and technological situation, given the current difficult socio-economic and political situation that has resulted in a digital abyss in Zimbabwe.
    Keywords : lb theory practice education, lc special aspects education, qa75 electronic computers. computer science

    Subject : unspecified
    Area : Other
    Language : English
    Year : 2010

    Affiliations University of Greenwich
    Publisher : IGI Global Information Resources Mgt Association
    Pages : 1-60
    Url : http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/digital-abyss-zimbabwe/47507

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    Title of the work: The digital abyss in Zimbabwe

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