UNAIDS and StarTimes plan to explore collaboration on increasing HIV and AIDS awareness among African youth by use of the mobile online video application – StarTimes App.
Malawi’s First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé and StarTimes Group Vice President Guo Ziqi held a meeting under the theme “Value of new media in African HIV and AIDS Prevention Campaign” in Beijing recently.
Research shows that new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are more likely to occur among young people in Africa because HIV and AIDS prevention information and knowledge does not reach young people efficiently.
The UNAIDS executive director says there is urgent need to adress the information gap.
“We have seen progress in most countries today, but the biggest challenge that we face is complacency. The young people, they don’t have information, they don’t have knowledge, so they don’t protect themselves…So, information, knowledge and education, and that’s why StarTimes is very important for us.”
“I just want to say sharing information, bringing knowledge and making sure that we can change young people will be key for ending AIDS.”
Sidibé noted that for most African countries, 70 percent of the population are below the age of 35 and they are not getting information. “Our recent approach will completely change the situation and help us to go for a generation free of AIDS.”
With smartphone use and internet penetration soaring, Africa is set for a communication way revolution. Similarly in Europe, US and China, more and more African young people, get used to watching stream videos on phones.
“Based on this trend, StarTimes launched its video streaming service in the African market with the StarTimes App in June 2018. Within 3 months, StarTimes App has had 8 million downloads and the figure is expected to reach 15 million by the end of this year,” said Guo Ziqi.
Ms Guo noted that the StarTimes App is streaming the “Zero Discrimination” public service announcement (PSAs) as a trial cooperation with UNAIDS through the online video platform.
And, Malawian First Lady and former president of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against AIDS OAFLA), Gertrude Mutharika said: “Malawi has significant and rapid growth in the number of mobile phones and subscribers over the last two decades. The majority of people who buy phone are for using social media communication as well as a source of information. It is for this reason that we revise HIV prevention strategy and seeks to explore social media technology and platforms to reach out to young people.”
“I found that the launch of StarTimes App for HIV prevention is very timely and appropriate. This will greatly enhance our national efforts to reduce HIV infection, particularly on young people. I looking forward to working closely with StarTimes and UNAIDS in Malawi,” she remarked.
During the meeting, Guo introduced the China-Africa Cooperation project, “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”, which would be undertaken by StarTimes, and proposed to explore possible ways to help popularize HIV and AIDS prevention information and knowledge in African rural areas with the platform.
The project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” was first announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015. The Chinese government will aid 10,112 African villages each with two StarTimes Projector TVs, one 32 inch Digital TV set and 20 DTH decoders and satellite dishes.
UNAIDS and StarTimes formally established partnership on 12th May, 2017 when an MOU was signed in Beijing “to reduce the impact of HIV across Africa by disseminating messages to the general public to increase awareness of HIV and UNAIDS’ work and reduce stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV and populations affected by HIV”.
After the establishment of partnership, StarTimes and UNAIDS are boosting their cooperation in different African countries, aiming to mobilizing all available resources to enhance the awareness of HIV and AIDS in the continent.
In the past two years, StarTimes has broadcasted several UNAIDS public service announcements(PSAs) to more than 10 million households with its free to air (FTA) Guide Channel.
Ms Guo said: “With more broadcasting platforms and a bigger and diversified subscriber base and richer content, we will be able to make the best of all our resources to help end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”
Zambia’s economic growth is estimated to drop from 3 percent to approximately -4.2 percent due Covid-19, Fredson Yamba says
SECRETARY to the Treasury Fredson Yamba says Zambia’s economic growth is estimated to drop from 3 percent to approximately -4.2 percent due to the impact caused by the Covid-19.
And Yamba says the Ministry of Finance through the office of the DMMU and the Fire Brigade has conducted a successful Covid-19 preventive spraying at the ministry offices.
In a statement, Yamba said it is estimated that in the current fiscal year, the pandemic will have a sustained adverse impact on the economy and lead to a downward drift in the country’s projected growth from 3 percent to approximately -4.2 percent.
He said the Ministry of Finance will continue to review the economic sustainability initiatives that are in place in order to moderate the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy.
And Yamba said the DMMU in collaboration with the fire brigade has conducted a successful Covid-19 preventive spraying at the Ministry of Finance.
Speaking at inspecting the spraying works, Yamba said the spraying which focused more on the surrounding buildings, offices, furniture, and other fixtures and fittings is aimed at ensuring that the ministry has a safe environment for management and staff and ensure that the prepations for the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the 2021 National Budget preparation are not affected by Covid-19.
He also directed all Ministry officials to observe the guidelines stipulated by health authorities so that the fight against COVID-19 is won.
Lockdown Learning – How Educational TV Is Saving Our Kids
By Dr Rozious Siatwambo
WITH Zambian schools set to remain closed for the rest of winter, and with an unknown path ahead for teaching for the remainder of the year, our children are facing a significant education challenge. For many students, particularly those in grades preceding important school transitions such as Grade 7, Grade 9 and Grade 12, this is particularly daunting, as the months lost to lockdown could potentially impact their readiness for next year.
It’s important to note that the time lost in the school year so far cannot be recovered. This will negatively impact all learners across all grades, and the time they have to finish important topics and syllabuses going forward. Students who have remained home have missed out on vast amounts of schoolwork. As a result, work that had to be covered in a single term will now take much longer to complete, adding further pressure to an already strained system. Added to this, many students need the support of their teachers and study groups to grasp key academic concepts. Learning alone, at home, deprives them of this support, making it that much more difficult for them to cope under the current conditions.
There is another critical factor to consider when assessing the impact of lockdown on education, and that is the mounting psychological pressure on students. Mentally and emotionally, our children are feeling the effects of not being in a classroom for months on end. Aside from the possible negative social impact, children’s behaviour has been affected, as they grapple with shifting their attention from progressive academic work to idleness in their communities.
It is against this unfolding backdrop to education in Zambia that I was delighted to hear that MultiChoice Zambia and the Ministry of General Education had taken the lead on e-learning and introduced a comprehensive new education channel called Edu TV. The channel is available on DStv channel 315 and GOtv channel 58, and broadcasts classroom-based learning and life skills programmes for children from primary school to secondary school level, based on the Zambian national curriculum.
This effectively extends national education services to almost every corner of our country, and offers the majority of our learners a valuable opportunity to keep abreast of academic work via TV. Learning through a digital platform like satellite-TV also reinforces the principle of staying home during this pandemic. Looking at this as a model for the future, there is potential for digital innovations to play a significant role in the transformation of Zambia’s education sector. Firstly, we can see this in the way Edu TV was specifically developed to fill the vital learning gap created by Covid-19 and the subsequent national lockdown.
We can also see it in MultiChoice Zambia’s wider bouquet of educational TV channels on DStv. This includes Mindset (channel 319), Mindset Pop (channel 317) and Da Vinci Kids (channel 318). While Mindset and Mindset Pop feature programming covering the entire spectrum of general education, from Early Childhood Learning to the current curriculums of Grades 4 to 9; Da Vinci Kids offers award-winning educational programming that is fun and stimulating, presenting inspired worldly views on important subjects.
Educational innovations like this are helping to change our children’s mindsets around learning, moving them out of the strict classroom landscape into more familiar digital territory. This is absolutely critical in preparing our youth for the innovations that will come in future – learning via video. Educational videos have the potential to provide theory instruction and enhance skills development, and as we have seen during lockdown, can be broadcast on multiple platforms, from TV to social and other online media.
While the future for lesson delivery will largely depend on how much capacity we can build into new technology systems, online is certainly one of the biggest future learning avenues Zambia will look to fully embracing. The launch of Edu TV on DStv and GOtv could not have come at more appropriate time. Considering the number of subscribers on these two platforms, the positive contribution this channel – along with DStv’s additional educational channels – will make in ensuring scholastic continuity during this difficult time cannot be overemphasised.
Learning is not attained by chance, it is attained through hard work and diligence. Technology, online and television-based learning broadens the arena in which we can encourage such hard work and diligence. These platforms provide invaluable support to Zambian educators, ultimately helping us to achieve our global education goals.
Dr Rozious Siatwambo is founder and CEO of Great North Road Academy Group of Companies, which includes Great North Road Academy, one of the leading private schools in Zambia. Dr Siatwambo is also an author, mentor and motivational speaker.
IBA can not take any action against Spring TV for peddling rumors because the station is not licensed by IBA
INDEPENDENT Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Director General Josephine Mapoma says the authority has no jurisdiction to take any action against Spring TV for peddling rumors because the station is not licensed by IBA.
Yesterday, Spring TV aired a story alleging that former General Education Minister David Mabumba had committed suicide.
But Mapoma in a statement said Spring TV is not licensed by the Authority and as such is not bound by its regulations.
She added that the IBA Act does not provide for the regulation of content broadcast over the internet.
“That notwithstanding, IBA stands with various stakeholders to condemn the false reporting that happens on the Internet and wishes to urge all media practitioners to abide by the journalism code of ethics,” Mapoma said.
And Mapoma said the desire of media institutions to be the first to give breaking news to the public should not be at the expense of accuracy and verification of facts.