Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

‘New curriculum unworkable’

By Blessings Mashaya and Mugove Tafirenyika

Teachers have said the new curriculum cannot be practically implemented, with schools around the country struggling to introduce it, six weeks into the first term.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) said there is need to revise the controversial curriculum.

“As Zimta, we have requested a meeting with government so that they can get feedback from the teachers on what is possible and what is not possible in the implementation of the new curriculum,” Zimta CEO Sifiso Ndlovu said.

Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ) said the curriculum change must involve widespread consultation of all stakeholders, re-skilling of teachers, piloting the project and validating the process.

“The current thrust of the new curriculum is far from what the 1999 Nziramasanga Commission sought to achieve.

“We have been reduced to clerks. There is no time for lesson delivery. Classes are too big considering the prescribed teacher-per-pupil-ratio of the new curriculum and the assessment of the practical components is not feasible.

“ICT not practical in rural schools and even some urban schools, mismatch of teachers and subjects which will result in forced transfers and timetables are completely overcrowded.”

According to PTUZ, the new curriculum excludes and shuts the door for repeaters.

Government policy of teacher recruitment freeze is also working against the successful implementation of the new curriculum, the union said.

“Schools with hot sitting can’t function, teaching cycles are affecting sequence of school syllabus from five to six-day cycles. Physical Education (PE) as a compulsory subject has no resource, text books, no precedent, no equipment, no facilities and no reference texts.”

“The PTUZ believes consultation, dialogue and transparency are critical if this is to succeed.

“President Robert Mugabe must be reminded that his wonderful legacy on education is seriously under threat. There is no harm in going back to the drawing board. The earlier we do so the better,” PTUZ said.

Teachers say there is no literature on the new curriculum, so they are using old curriculum text books.

Education minister Lazarus Dokora in January this year introduced a new curriculum in the primary and secondary education system introducing the writing of dissertations by Form Four students and mandating them to go for industrial attachment.

It also did away with subjects such as geography, while bringing in mass displays. Daily News