Curriculum review necessary: ARTUZ speaks out


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By Marlvin Ngiza

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has welcomed the national curriculum review consultations which were expected to run from 23 to 24 May saying it was necessary though a couple of weaknesses such as wrong timing, a limiting questionnaire, and inadequate awareness were present.

The curriculum review comes at a time when Ordinary and Advanced Level students have already begun preparations for their examinations with parents and learners having been complaining about workload since the inception of the CALA concept in 2017.

Speaking ahead of the review consultations, ARTUZ deputy secretary general Munyaradzi Masiyiwa told this publication that the review was supposed to be done last year and adequate awareness campaigns prior to the review were requisite.

“The review is highly necessary. However, it has come at a wrong time. The lifespan of a curriculum is seven years and this current curriculum was supposed to be reviewed in 2022 since it was established in 2015 so the review was delayed.

“We are not expecting much from the review since it is guided by an already designed questionnaire of which stakeholders have no other option outside the guided questions and answers. Also, an awareness was not conducted so teachers, learners, and parents are not aware of what exactly will be happening, what to say, how to express their feelings about this new curriculum,” said Masiyiwa.

He further expressed fear of the discrimination of rural participants due to lack of information while revealing that in order for the CALA to proceed and to be a success, there was a great need for adequate funding and resource mobilisation.

“As a matter of fact, this new curriculum was supposed to kickstart in 2015 but later came in 2017 due to lack of preparedness, misinformation, and lack of resources so from that background, Zimbabwe is not ready to implement such an area which requires a lot of resources and funding unless and when the government is in position to fund in full, that’s when we can put such learning areas but for now CALA has put a lot of pressure for parents, teachers, and learners. Imagine an O-level student doing 10 subjects, it means 50 CALA activities to be done of which that time should be utilised for revisions.

“So like any other programs, rural areas have been discriminated against. I am quite sure that rural communities will not be able to fully participate due to a lack of information since information is being disseminated on electronic gadgets yet the network in rural areas is a challenge. There are likely to be different interpretations of the designed questionnaire since it was initially designed in English alone excluding minority languages, “added Masiyiwa

Meanwhile, during the call for participation of stakeholders in these reviews, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary Tumisang Thabela said the review was participatory and vital in coming up with a competence-based curriculum in the Ministry’s quest for equitable and inclusive education which leaves no one and no place behind.

“This is the opportunity for the internal stakeholders to participate in the education we want as a nation. Their views are important to shape our education for socio-economic development, ” said Thabela.

The curriculum review consultations will be conducted in all learning institutions nationwide from 0800hrs to 1700hrs.