FORMER Education minister, David Coltart has rapped his successor, Lazarus Dokora, for causing chaos in the education sector by haphazardly introducing far-reaching policy changes without consulting key stakeholders.
BY SILAS NKALA
Coltart said the newly-launched education curriculum, which comes into effect tomorrow, was likely to throw the sector into disarray, as it was introduced at short notice and without prior consultation with educators.
“I’m deeply concerned about what my successor is doing to education,” he said.
Coltart’s remarks came after Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) last week blasted Dokora for rushing to implement the new curriculum without proper consultations with stakeholders.
His sentiments were also echoed by Zimbabwe Christian Alliance leader, Useni Sibanda, who called for parents and all stakeholders to resist the new curriculum.
“Dokora rushed to implement the curriculum, this needs to be opposed by citizens. These are our children, we need to have a thorough input into what will be taught,” Sibanda said.
PTUZ president, Takavafira Zhou, last week, blasted Dokora over the same issue, arguing the move had put schools in a dilemma, given the little time left before the new term starts.
He argued the new curriculum was complex and involved new technologies for all schools, when the majority of institutions in the rural areas lack the requisite infrastructure and most teachers were not computer literate.
“This move is not only intransigent and callous, but also a monumental injustice, impermeable to reason and facts.
Fundamentally, the syllabi are not readily available in schools. The teaching material or textbooks for the new curricula are not readily available, yet there are completely new subjects that have been introduced such as Heritage Studies and Economic History,” Zhou said.
Parents also berated Dokora, describing him as clueless on how to run a key government department such as education.
John Stewart said Zanu PF ministers always tended to impose their opinions on the general citizenry.
Fortunate Dube described Dokora as “bad news to Zimbabwe’s education”.
“The worst of them all since 1980. Senseless. No textbooks for that new curriculum, no preparation for teachers for that new curriculum. How are they going to implement it effectively? His head needs to be examined immediately otherwise he will drag down the whole education system with him. It’s time to stop him before he becomes a serious fool,” he said.
Dokora is not new to controversy as he caused a storm last year when he imposed the national pledge on pupils.