Financially challenged Midlands State University (MSU) students on Friday approached the High Court challenging a ‘unilateral’ move by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Government to introduce e-learning lessons, which the majority cannot afford, during the ongoing Covid19 national lockdown.

The e-learning lessons got underway on 24 March and the learners are seeking an interim order to suspend the lessons until some stringent measures attached to it are removed.

Citing the Gweru-headquartered varsity and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira as the first and second respondents respectively, the MSU students lodged their application through the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu).
Zivanai Makwanya, the legal representative of the students said the prevailing circumstances are literally injuring the constitutionally enshrined right to education for the thousands of learners who can hardly meet the monetary demands of the e-learning process.
It is also stated in the application that the state-sanctioned alternative learning platform is discriminatory in nature as it does not consider the plight of rural-based learners where internet connection challenges are more pronounced.
“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,” partly reads the High Court application.
The students have also said MSU can alternatively open its eLearning platforms to all learners during the Covid19 lockdown, irrespective of payment of fees or any other financial regiments as demanded by the university.

Additional Reporting: Zwnews