Schools in new curriculum dilemma
SEVERAL schools countrywide are yet to adopt the new education curriculum which was rolled out at specific academic levels at the beginning of the year due to unskilled manpower and lack of the requisite teaching materials.
The Sunday Mail understands that despite the introduction of the new curriculum at ECD A and B, Grade Three as well as Forms One, Three and Five; the majority of schools are still stuck with the old curriculum.
The new education syllabus was adopted following recommendations from a commission established in 1999 to come up with measures to meet latest trends.
Zimbabwe’s education had been criticised for being too theoretical with practical subjects taking a back seat.
In its findings, the commission noted there was need to introduce vocational training skills during the early stages of education.
The new curriculum introduces mass displays, physical education, separation of content and agriculture at primary school level while subjects like Building and Fashion and Fabrics are now referred to as Building Technology and Design and Textile Technology Design respectively.
But information gathered shows that most schools are incapacitated to implement the new curriculum.
The new curriculum has hit a snag in rural schools where apart from high teacher to pupil ratios, the teachers do not have the requisite skills to impart knowledge on some of the subjects.
The revelations come as the first group of students taught under the new curriculum in high schools are set to sit for Ordinary and Avanced Level examinations next year.
A school head in Mashonaland East province who is not authorised to speak to the media by a Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education policy said: “There was need to introduce the new curriculum from the lower levels of education.
“If it had started with ECD A and B, these pupils were supposed to continue with the new curriculum until Form Six.
“The current situation where Form Three students are introduced to the new syllabi and told to write final examinations next year is a challenge.
“Besides, we do not have teachers with the skills required in some of the subjects.
“There is also inadequate learning material and infrastructure. Students are required to acquire computer skills, yet some schools do not have electricity.”
Contacted for comment, Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango said her office has been inundated with a host of queries over the new curriculum.
“We will respond to the issues collectively, but for now please talk to our public relations officer (Patrick Zumbu).”
Mr Zumbu said: “We are planning to hold a press conference during the course of the week. Our principals will clarify the issues there.”