The Fountain: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain <p>The complex nature of the problems encountered in the world today requires scientific enquiry from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. <strong><em>The Fountain: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (FJIS)</em></strong> seeks to provide a platform for debate, and sharing of research results from various subjects. <strong><em>FJIS</em></strong>&nbsp;is open to a broad range of disciplines and authors. Contributions from emerging researchers and authors are highly encouraged.&nbsp;<strong><em>FJIS</em></strong>&nbsp;is an online open access journal. Readers may access all articles free of charge. There are no submission fees, publication fees or page charges for this journal.</p> Catholic University of Zimbabwe en-US The Fountain: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 2520-453X <p>The copyright for all articles belongs to the authors. All other copyright is held by the journal.</p> Narratives of the Coronavirus Pandemic: http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/184 <p><em>This article draws attention to the narrative discourses and interpretations of coronavirus (COVID<strong>-</strong>19)<strong>,</strong> on social media<strong>,</strong> with the objective to proffer knowledge for decision making in responding to the pandemic in the Zimbabwean context<strong>.</strong> The study employs qualitative research methods of text analysis and relies on descriptive techniques in the analysis of those narratives of the pandemic<strong>.</strong> Narratives were categorized into four domains<strong> :-</strong>( a) conspiracy theories<strong>, </strong>(b) prophesies<strong>:</strong> punishment or curse<strong>,</strong> (c) remedies<strong>, </strong>and (d) stigma and prejudice<strong>.</strong> As evidenced in a number of narratives<strong>,</strong> the study established that the current COVID<strong>-</strong>19 outbreak is spurring fear on a societal as well as on an individual level<strong>.</strong> It is steadfastly giving entrenched ways of seeing the world as a violent place<strong>.</strong> The study has taken the position that the rumors that are circulating are as a result of lack of accurate and consistent information and messages<strong>.</strong> Luckily<strong>,</strong> the fears inspired by conspiracy theories now exist in parallel with knowledge of how the virus is transmitted<strong>;</strong> hence people understand that COVID<strong>-</strong>19 is real<strong>.</strong> People are increasingly realizing that the coronavirus infects all human beings<strong>, </strong>regardless of race or socio-economic standing. The study suggests that Individuals need to be enlightened that the coronavirus<strong>,</strong> and any other views that instigate a form of discrimination<strong>,</strong> should not be condoned. The study hopes that the post<strong>-</strong>COVID<strong>-</strong>19 narrative will embrace a third truth, that people may care about others in negative as well as positive ways<strong>.</strong>&nbsp; </em></p> Enesiti Nil Chirume Nyasha Kaseke ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 1 23 Media Coverage and Human Rights in Zimbabwe in the Context Of The Covid-19 Pandemic http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/185 <p><em>The media are central institutions in any democratic society. They inform and educate citizens about political and socio-economic issues. The media further provide citizens with information they need to make informed decisions. As powerful institutions, they promote human rights by creating public forums where different views in a democratic society can be expressed. Informed by the agenda-setting and social responsibility theories, this paper analyses the extent and nature of media coverage regarding human rights in Zimbabwe in the context of the covid-19 pandemic. Utilising the qualitative research methodology, the paper scrutinised how The Standard Newspaper reported about Covid-19 and human rights-related issues for a period of one month after President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a 21-day national lockdown on 30 March 2020. The paper concluded that the newspaper responded quickly in its coverage regarding human rights in the context of the unfolding pandemic. However, although most of the stories were informative, they were not educative since they were event-based and single sourced. This paper suggested that The Standard should use more comments and analysis and multiple sources to give diversity and weight to human rights issues covered</em></p> Lazarus Sauti ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 24 44 Insights on Teaching during a Pandemic http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/187 <p><em>As suggested in the title, this is a conceptual paper that discusses the issues on teaching and assisting students to learn during the novel COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a health issue, but it is also a social and economic phenomenon. This paper seeks to interrogate how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted teaching and learning in one university in Zimbabwe. The COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications caught the global community unawares, including the higher education community which had to quickly shift from face-to-face lectures to online teaching and learning by an unprepared faculty and to an equally unprepared student body. The pandemic, therefore, ushered in a new ‘normal’ where lecturers and students are required to adapt to online teaching and learning using different platforms as dictated by the available resources. The paper will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for online teaching and learning in the university during the COVID-19 era and beyond the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is a new phenomenon which is still unfolding and hence no firm conclusions can be made yet. The methods that were employed in this paper are insights by the researchers who are the lecturers of the Professional Communication Skills course, which is a university-wide course. This paper is relevant insofar as it will provide evidence-based information on the disruptions to teaching and learning caused by the pandemic which will be useful for informing future strategies and measures for online teaching and learning.&nbsp; </em></p> Nomalanga Mpofu Hamadziripi Ketiwe Zendah ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 45 59 Challenges and Opportunities of Migrating to Online Teaching and Learning In Zimbabwe In the Face of Covid-19 http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/188 <p><em>The study assesses the challenges and opportunities of migrating to online teaching and learning in Zimbabwe<strong>,</strong> in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic<strong>.</strong> Undertaken at Catholic University of Zimbabwe (Chinhoyi campus)<strong>, </strong>the objective is to generate knowledge for improving evidence-based decision making in mitigating<strong>,</strong> preparing for<strong>, </strong>and responding to the pandemic<strong>. </strong>The study is a qualitative<strong>, </strong>descriptive research<strong>, </strong>whose aim argues that<strong>,</strong> though online education might have been prompted by the advent of coronavirus<strong>,</strong> the online teaching and learning is here to stay<strong>.</strong> Based on the findings from the literature review<strong>,</strong> one of the determinants of a sustainable e-learning program in education in Zimbabwe could be the availability of reliable infrastructure such as, internet access to provide opportunities for synchronous interactivity<strong>. </strong>The study suggests that stakeholders should investment in e-learning facilities<strong>.</strong> In the presence of appropriate technological tools, uninterrupted electricity and better access to the Internet <strong>-</strong> educators and students will be better able to implement e-learning programs in learning institutions. The study has found that real learning should be learner centered<strong>, </strong>with the instructor offering guidance<strong>.</strong> The study concludes that on a lighter side<strong>,</strong> COVID-19 could also be viewed as a blessing in disguise<strong>. </strong>&nbsp;</em></p> Enesiti Nil Chirume Nyasha Kaseke ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 60 80 Covid-19 and Girl Child Education http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/191 <p><em>This paper argues that COVID-19 lockdowns negatively affected the education of many young girls in rural Zimbabwe, particularly those who ran into teenage marriages; because they had no other alternative productive activities to occupy them during school closures. Had there been other educational activities like readily available online lessons, community clubs, access to internet and many more activities which their urban counterparts are enjoying, less numbers of child marriages could have been recorded. The paper interviewed some parents from rural areas (Gokwe and Chirumanzu), on the state of affairs and discovered that 7 in every 10 families interviewed had their teenage girl married or had unwanted pregnancies before marriage. The paper recommends that mitigation measures should be taken so that young girls are kept in school as long as possible despite quagmires like the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). Without sustainable programs for girls and boys in rural and urban areas, the gains yet to be achieved by all legislation promoting gender equality in education, the education Amendment Act 2020 and other intervention strategies from Non-Governmental Organisations like Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) which are paying school fees for girls in more than 29 districts of rural Zimbabwe will go to waste. Efforts should therefore be made through a multistakeholder approach to keep girls in school against any odds. </em></p> Tapiwa Musasa ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 81 95 The Socio-Economic Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on The Working Population in Harare, Zimbabwe http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/192 <p><em>The research aimed to assess the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the working populace in Harare, Zimbabwe. The study followed a descriptive cross-sectional research design. A simple random sampling technique was used to select the study respondents who were adult formally employed people. Simple random sampling technique was deemed appropriate for the research as it ensured that there was representativeness of the target population. Data was collected from randomly selected respondents through a selfadministered structured questionnaire which was designed using google form. The questionnaire link was sent to the respondents using either emails or WhatsApp. Data was analysed using a Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). Data analysis revealed that there was socioeconomic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the working populace such as increase in household expenses, and negative impact on the mental wellbeing of the respondents. Additionally, the findings showed that working from home during the lockdowns was difficult due to disruptions. Fear of losing jobs was cited as one of the other effects of the pandemic and in the event of one losing their jobs most respondents did not have a sustainable income to take care of their families. These findings showed that there is need for the fiscal resources to be used to offer direct support to affected individuals and businesses in order to protect the productive capacity that will be needed to revive the economy when the coronavirus crisis ends. There is also a need to consider providing a sustained social safety nets for everyone during the pandemic using appropriate social and economic policies.&nbsp; </em></p> Frank Chikhata Precious Chikhata ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 96 109 A Critique of the Socio-Economic Impact of the Lockdown Measures on the Informal Sector http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/198 <p><em>The measures of curbing the COVID-19 pandemic have landed a heavy blow on the informal sector in Zimbabwe. Informal businesses are a crucial factor in the economies of many countries in Africa. The main purpose of this report is to give a critique of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown measures on the informal sector in Gwanda urban in the Matabeleland South region of Zimbabwe. The study was principally qualitative in nature. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of sixty participants. Telephone interviews and observations were the instruments. The findings were that most informal workplaces in Gwanda urban were still closed because of the lockdowns at the time of this research. The lockdowns reduced the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic but at a cost. The most vulnerable families were exposed to poverty and access to health care was reduced. The majority of residents were struggling to pay rentals, electricity and water bills. The conclusion was that the lockdowns impacted negatively and positively on the informal sector. It was recommended that informal trade should be regulated by departments which deal with commerce and industry whilst a readjustment of national and municipal powers that regulate informal trade is needed</em>.</p> Sibiziwe Shumba ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 110 126 Leveraging on Artificial Intelligence Post the Covid-19 Pandemic in Selected Hotels in Harare Metropolitan Province http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/199 <p><em>The Covid-19 induced lockdown has had adverse effects on all businesses including the hotel industry. Consequently, most employees got retrenched, as hotels had to scale down their operations by closing some of their outlets, in order to combat its spread. In view of such a scenario, hotels could leverage on artificial intelligence (AI) in order to minimise human contact. The study adopted a purely qualitative approach using the phenomenological design. Ten managerial employees were purposively selected from three (3) different hotel groups. Due to travelling restrictions, data had to be collected using online interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. It was established that under this new normal, AI could be leveraged on to enhance business operations.&nbsp; Some of the benefits to be harnessed from AI included enhanced cognitive support in decision making, reduction in operational costs, automation of repetitive low value addition tasks, and quality people analytics. Although AI threatens some jobs, the study found out that it has the potential to create new jobs requiring new skills. Since AI has the potential to produce more benefits, there is need for employee involvement and transparency in its implementation. It is also recommended that hotel management prepare their employees for the new normal through socialisation and capacity building programs to ensure that all stakeholders would benefit from AI. </em></p> Patience Mabika ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 127 150 Implications of Covid 19 on the Food Systems and Food Aid. http://journals.cuz.ac.zw/index.php/fountain/article/view/204 <p><em>The World was facing some challenges in the food systems before the advent of COVID 19. Some of the serious challenges include climate change and some economic instabilities in various countries. These challenges have resulted in some countries facing food crisis that requires food aid. COVID 19 has increased the number of the vulnerable population thereby increasing the number of people in need of food aid. COVID 19 related disruptions of the food systems and food donations have been faced in various parts of the world. COVID 19 has exacerbated food insecurity due to the disruptions of the food systems. The COVID 19 response measures are also negatively affecting the current food systems. This paper explores the current and future implications of COVID 19 on the food systems and food aid. The paper analyses the available literature on food security and COVID 19. The effect of COVID 19 on food security is likely to extend into the post COVID 19 period. The article concludes by saying that COVID 19 has negatively influenced every element of the food system and food aid activities. There is a need for the development of a resilient food system that withstands the current shocks and possible future shocks. </em></p> Innocent Kutyauripo ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 4 1 151 165