Interviews in Siachilaba by Stefan Hecke

Article Index

N Phiri

Educ : Teacher - English Language and Literature, Forms 3 and 4

What do you think of the Binga ITC?
It is something good. It is a blessing for all of us, the teachers, the students, the community.

How often do you use the centre?
I am here almost daily.

What do you use it for?
I use the internet for research and emails; computer work for typing up lessons and producing teaching material.

What research are you doing?
For example, I teach literature, so I managed to get some very useful material for set books, summaries which made my work much, much easier. Before I would have had to summarise books myself by hand and copy by hand for students. I know someone who would travel to Bulawayo (450km) for research in libraries there. I have also met many friends using internet and email. Lots of people have left the country, but it is still easy to talk to them.

Are you Tonga?
No I am Ndebele.

What do you think the centre will do for Tonga culture?
I have not much knowledge about Tonga culture, but it will be exposed to everyone, now that they have access to internet. Some local people now have email accounts.

Do you think access to the centre is fair for everyone?
Yes, very fair. All kinds of people come here, not only us teachers and students. There are the local Tonga people, we are from Bulawayo and these other tribes near Hwange such as Nambian people. Everyone can come.

How about payments - do you pay for computer use?
Yes, if it is personal, but if it is schoolwork we do not pay. I think that cost is paid by the School Development Association.

Is it affordable?
Yes for me it’s OK, but others have problems. If you have the interest but no money, you can do nothing. In future development it would be good if certain people could access free services, at least for a time.

Anything else?
This is a great development in Binga. Previously we were so backward. Even in Zimbabwean towns, if you talk about Binga, it’s like you are talking about something unknown. Now, we are also on the map, we can communicate with anywhere in the world.

Thank you for your time.