Challenges and opportunities related to quality distance higher education in Zimbabwe
Shava, George Nervious
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Zimbabwe has managed to respond to the movement in support of UNESCO'S lifelong learning concept and strategy that seeks to widen and deepen access to higher education through distance education initiatives. Despite the significant increase in students enrolling in distance education institutions, the gold standard of excellence that is sought by many nations has gradually been compromised. There are symptoms of a downward trend in terms of quality in open distance learning institutions. The qualitative study analysed major factors affecting the provision of quality distance higher education with specific reference to the Zimbabwe Open University, the sole provider of university distance education in Zimbabwe. The study focused on three Zimbabwe Open University regional centres in Zimbabwe. The paper seeks to identify major factors contributing to the declining quality of distance education and discusses measures that distance education providers in Zimbabwe can undertake in order to promote excellence for effective learning in the 21st century. The study established that several factors are affecting the quality of distance education in Zimbabwe. The lack of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) facilities at regional and district centres was a major hindrance to effective teaching and learning.
- Faculty of Education