Home Learning During COVID-19 (Zimbabwe) | How We Care | Practitioner Guidance

Blessing Mutama
Blessing Mutama Farm Orphans Support Trust (FOST) • 11 November 2021

Farm Orphan Support Trust (FOST) is a member of the National Education Cluster in Zimbabwe, and as such we have supported the government’s Ministry of Education to respond to the challenges of COVID-19. Following the closure of schools in March 2020, we worked to minimise the disruption to children’s education by rolling out school lessons over the radio. These lessons have ensured that children who don’t have access to smartphones or internet connections have been able to continue their learning during this time.

The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the National Education Cluster, liaised with Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC - the national radio station), to free up slots in their weekly programme. 

  • Lessons were broadcast on different subjects and for different age groups. 
  • Teachers used the existing curriculum to prepare summary versions of lessons.
  • Teachers pre-recorded themselves delivering the lessons in the ZBC radio studios in Harare, and these were then broadcast in the timetabled slots during the week. 

At FOST we provided technical support for the design of the programme and played a key role in promoting the radio programmes to children and families in the communities where we work.

Using the medium of radio for lessons has not been without its challenges. The most vulnerable families we work with do not have access to radios or smartphones, and in remote areas reception is limited. It is also difficult to gauge how many children actively listen to the lessons.

However, we believe that education cannot wait and so through these radio lessons we are pleased to have been able to provide ongoing education for many children across a wide geographical area, during the pandemic.

"Education cannot wait. The more we drag on this, the more we affect our children’s future."

Do you have any comments you can share with the community relating to our work, or learnings about how your organisation has approached home learning during the pandemic? Please share, or post any follow-up questions for us at FOST below - we'd love to hear from you.

The attached resources are part of the How We Care series, an innovative space for those working with children and families to share practice. By practitioners, for practitioners. Learnings from 2 other Family for Every Child members, on this theme, have been shared here.