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O- Level attachment talks begin

The Zanu PF government is engaging private companies and non-governmental organisations to facilitate industrial attachment for Ordinary Level students in terms of the new school curriculum.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango

Internship is a prerequisite of the curriculum’s life-skills orientation programme, which is aimed at preparing high school graduates for commerce.

Authorities will help set up opportunities for the five months’ work-related experience in keeping with students’ academic disciplines.

The initiative will also see some students get driver’s licences under a special arrangement.

South Africa, India and the United Kingdom have similar programmes.

Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education Dr Slyvia Utete-Masango told The Sunday Mail last week, “We have been communicating with several companies and humanitarian organisations to cater for students in various disciplines.

“For instance, those who want to focus on agriculture might get an opportunity for such practice with the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority. And those in pure arts like visual arts, for instance, might get stints at the National Art Gallery.

“This programme aims to help students choose paths they want to take in terms of academic or vocational training. Even if they drop out of school at any level, they will have skills that can sustain them for life.

“We are going to implement the programme as soon as we have finalised modalities with different companies and organisations.”

The curriculum became effective this year, with Government introducing new innovations, including setting the number of subjects one can sit at O-level at 10, with seven of them compulsory.

The compulsory subjects are agriculture, general science, mathematics, indigenous languages, English language, heritage studies and physical education, sport and mass display.

Respected academic Dr Caiphas Nziramasanga said: “This programme is of utmost importance because it gives students skills that they would have otherwise not learnt in classrooms. They get a better appreciation and understanding of what they learn in classrooms, thus helping them choose career paths.

“However, there is need for both students and tutors to carefully select subjects and training areas, and for consultations with stakeholders.’’ The Sunday Mail