Scientific Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences <p>The Scientific Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences (SJPAS) is a peer reviewed multi-disciplinary specialist international journal aimed at promoting research worldwide in Agricultural Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Medicine and Physics (all scientific fields).</p> EuroPub Publishing Company en-US Scientific Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences 2322-2956 MyVista digital platform as an Information and Computer Technology (ICT) tool for student support at Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) <p>The study explored the accessibility, usability and sustainability of MyVista digital platform as an ICT tool for supporting the teaching and learning of students at Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). A plethora of literature points to a positive correlation between Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and open and distance learning (ODL) resulting in active, self-directed and constructive learning. Since the trajectory of using ICT as a tool for student support is a relatively new phenomenon in ODL, it is bound to be characterized by opportunities and challenges of which this study envisaged to uncover. The study is informed by the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as well as the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and is grounded in pragmatism. A mixed methods sequential explanatory design was adopted to collect and analyse data. Predominantly, questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and focus group interviews (FGIs) were used to collect data which were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and thematic analysis. Results indicated that, while the usage of MyVista digital platform at ZOU had increased learner support initiatives, there were challenges of access, power and negative attitude in its utilization. For staff, technical challenges were experienced. These challenges were however out-weighed by the opportunities which hitherto had not been fully realised. Recommendations on training and capacity building for students and staff, improved interface and monitoring, policy support and further research were proffered as strategies for mitigating the challenges and intensifying opportunities.</p> Patrick Sibanda Copyright (c) 2020 Patrick Sibanda 2020-09-21 2020-09-21 9 9 956 964 The nexus between disability and poverty: A cross-sectional review <p>Grounded in Martya Sen’s Capability Model and the social model of disability, the purpose of the review is to expose and buttress the interrelationship between disability and poverty. The review explores the ‘unholy’ reciprocity between the two; the demographic measures of disability; education, training and employment of persons with disabilities; the cost of disability and the deprivation and hardship measures of disability and poverty. A vicious cycle has been found to exist between the two since disability and poverty are a cause and consequence of each other. Literature is replete with evidences of a positive correlation between the two phenomena. The review established that the vicious cycle of disability and poverty is exacerbated by the high cost of disability and further deepened by deprivations and hardships that often come with disability. This is a universal occurrence in all economies of the world such that persons with disabilities even in high economies are relatively poor. This scenario pushes people with disabilities deeper into dependence and vulnerability.’ Unfortunately, the existing literature seems to have universally accepted this vicious cycle as an automatic and natural occurring phenomenon when the root cause is actually negative societal attitude, stigma, stereotype and deliberate lack of support as well as marginalisation and systematic social exclusion of persons with disabilities. This author however deviates from this universal framing of the vicious cycle and recommends further research, advocacy and intervention that are informed by the need for socioeconomic empowerment of persons with disabilities to achieve independent living.</p> Patrick Sibanda Copyright (c) 2020 Patrick Sibanda 2020-09-23 2020-09-23 9 9 965 974