TEACHERS’ unions yesterday warned that the implementation of the proposed new school curriculum will be curtailed by lack of resources.
BY VENERANDA LANGA/SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo told NewsDay that adequate training for teachers was imperative before implementation of the new curriculum.
“The new curriculum development calls for a lot of training for teachers to be abreast with the new curriculum, considering that most teachers have not had adequate training in subjects like heritage studies,” Nyawo said.
“Imagine a layperson that has never seen a copy of the new Constitution being expected to begin teaching it to children, including topics on human rights. It means teachers have to be trained.”
Nyawo said there were also fears that primary school children might end up being overloaded with work and information that they will be unable to consume.
Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said his union felt the new curriculum was borne out of the initiatives of policy makers and did not take into account the state of the economy.
“What it means is that those in rural schools will be marginalised because the curriculum emphasises on the use of information communication technology and other resources. It will only be implementable at elite schools,” Masaraure said.
“We hear that Chinese and other foreign languages will be introduced, but teachers are not trained to teach those languages. As a union, we would like pupils to start appreciating human rights issues and democracy, but that needs teachers to first undergo training on those issues.”
He said recitation of a pledge of patriotism and saluting of the national flag were all based on Chinese systems to make sure governments inculcate propagandist ideas on school children.
“I do not think the thrust of the new curriculum should be hinged on that basis. We cannot copy and paste curriculums of other countries,” Masaraure addded.
When he appeared before Parliament last year, Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora said the national pledge would be a longer version which would take on matters of diversity, freedom, acknowledgement of mothers and fathers who lost their lives in the liberation struggle and commitment to honesty and the dignity of hard work. He said its implementation will begin this year before its revision in seven years’ time.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has shelved plans to hold a demonstration today after police reportedly advised them that their gathering point was a high risk security area.
Zimta chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu told NewsDay yesterday that the association was now working on a new date for the proposed demonstration which was supposed to take place at Africa Unity Square in Harare.
“We are clearing the issues raised by the police for instance the gathering point which was identified as a security area. The response was verbal, but the police did concede that we were exercising our rights by demonstrating,” Ndlovu said.
In a letter dated January 7, Zimta said the demonstration was “for educators to register their displeasure on the uncertainties surrounding teachers’ pay dates of the 2015 bonuses”.